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Anaphylaxis is a potentially fatal severe allergic reaction

Some allergies can lead to a severe allergic reaction - known as anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis can be life-threatening.

Symptoms can occur quickly or within hours following contact with an allergen. Prompt treatment can save your life. If you have an adrenaline auto-injector - use it immediately.

Common causes

different food

Common causes of anaphylaxis are wasp and bee stings as well as food, such as peanuts, nuts, sesame seed, fish and shellfish, dairy products and egg. Other causes include latex, penicillin and some other medications.

For some, fatigue or exercise may cause anaphylaxis - alone or in combination with other triggers like food or medication. Cold can also be a cause. In rare cases a reaction can occur without apparent cause.


Critical symptoms: You find it hard to breath, your mouth and throat swell, you feel sudden fatigue or dizziness, or you experience a steady worsening of symptoms.

If you experience these critical symptoms, inject adrenaline immediately. Call 112 and say “anaphylaxis”.


Avoiding the allergens to which you are sensitive is the best way to prevent allergic reactions or anaphylaxis.

Adrenaline is first line treatment for anaphylaxis. If you have an adrenaline auto-injector - use it immediately. How adrenaline works

Antihistamine and steroid tablets. Antihistamine reduces hives, itching and irritation. Cortisone reduces the risk of late onset reactions that can occur some hours following contact with allergens.

Who is at risk of anaphylaxis?

A person who has previously experienced anaphylaxis - irrespective of cause - is at risk in the future. If you have experienced an anaphylactic reaction - even if it was a mild one - you should contact your doctor.

If the reaction was caused by peanuts, shellfish or fish, it should not be ignored, even if mild. This is especially important if the reaction was caused by peanuts. This is also the case for certain drugs, insect stings or latex. Your doctor will give you essential information and prescribe suitable medication.

Prepare yourself

Make sure you understand your doctor’s instructions. If you have an Emerade adrenaline auto-injector, read the instructions carefully. Online you will find a instruction video and you can order training device.

Tell your friends, colleagues and teachers that you are at risk of anaphylaxis and show them how to use your adrenaline auto-injector. Explain what to do in an emergency and that they should call an ambulance.

Always carry your Emerade with you.

When you get anaphylaxis

Read more

When and how to use Emerade adrenaline auto-injector