Anaphylactic Shock Treatment
Treatment for anaphylaxis requires immediate care in the emergency room. Treatment for anaphylaxis includes epinephrine injections, antihistamines, and corticosteroid medications, given through an intravenous (IV) line. If treatment is rendered soon after the symptoms of anaphylaxis begin, the condition usually improves rapidly. Those who have experienced anaphylaxis should carry a self-injectable syringe that contains epinephrine. Self-treatment can be life saving if symptoms worsen rapidly.
A person with allergies must learn how to avoid substances that trigger the illness. Immunotherapy or allergy shots, train the body to tolerate the substance that triggers anaphylaxis. This may help reduce the severity of the symptoms when a person is exposed to the trigger.
Treatment for anaphylaxis may include:
- Intravenous fluids
- Giving a combination of an H1 receptor blocker and H2 receptor blocker may be more effective
- Diphenhydramine (H1 receptor blocker)
- Cimetidine (H2 receptor blocker)
- 1:1000 dilution
- Epinephrine (EpiPen, Adrenalin)
- Usually administered into a large muscle, such as the thigh
- Inhaled bronchodilators:
- Stimulates the release of catecholamines in the body
- Oxygen therapy
- If due to bee sting, remove the stinger from the skin
Anaphylactic Shock Antihistamines
|Age||Dose||Interval||Max Daily Dose|
|2-5 years||6.25 mg||4-6 hours||37.5 mg/day|
|6-11 years||12.5-25 mg||4-6 hours||150 mg/day|
|12 and older||25-50 mg||4-6 hours||300 mg/day|
Anaphylactic Shock Corticosteroids
Corticosteroids block the immune system response to the allergen. Corticosteroids are given through an intravenous line, in combination with antihistamines and epinephrine. After initial treatment, anaphylaxis requires additional treatment with oral corticosteroid, for 1-2 weeks.
Anaphylactic Shock Epinephrine
Epinephrine is a lifesaving drug for the treatment of anaphylaxis: it reverses the effects of anaphylaxis on the heart, lungs, blood vessels, airway and gastrointestinal tract. It can be injected under the skin or through an intravenous line. People with severe anaphylaxis usually require intravenous epinephrine.
This drug is also available for home use as Epi-Pen or Auto-Inject. It is given as a single muscular injection, usually into the outer thigh. Those who have had severe allergic reactions in the past should carry an epinephrine injection device with them at all times. They must use the device at the first sign of anaphylaxis.
Anaphylactic Shock Specialist
Physicians from the following specialties evaluate and treat anaphylaxis:
Continue to Anaphylactic Shock Home Care
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- Sheikh A, Walker S. Anaphylaxis. BMJ. 2005 Aug 6;331(7512):330.