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Allergic Reactions


Allergic reactions can be triggered by foods, medications, insect stings, pollen, or other substances.  Although most allergic reactions aren’t serious, severe reactions can be life threatening and can require immediate medical attention.

Signs and Symptoms:
Mild Reaction

  • Itchiness
  • Mild skin redness or swelling
  • Stuffy, runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Itchy, watery eyes
  • Red bumps (hives) that occur anywhere on the body

Severe Reaction

  • Swelling of the face or mouth
  • Difficulty swallowing or speaking
  • Wheezing or difficulty breathing
  • Abdominal pain, nausea, or vomiting
  • Dizziness or fainting

What to Do:

  1. Contact a doctor if you have an allergic reaction that is more than mild or the reaction concerns you.
  2. If symptoms of a mild reaction occur, take an oral antihistamine such as diphenhydramine.
  3. If you have symptoms of a severe allergic reaction and you have injectable epinephrine, immediately use it as directed and call for emergency help.

Seek emergency medical care if:
·        You have any symptoms of a severe allergic reaction
·        You were exposed to a food or substance that has triggered a severe reaction in the past
·        You were given injectable epinephrine

Think Prevention!

  • Avoid substances that are known to trigger an allergic reaction.  Keep an oral antihistamine such as diphenhydramine available.  If you have a severe allergy, be sure that doctor-prescribed injectable epinephrine is kept with or near you at all times, and you know how to use it.

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