Medically reviewed by Carina Fung, PharmD, BCPPS

Anaphylaxis treatment

If your anaphylactic reaction is triggered by insect stings, allergy shots might reduce the severity of your reaction. This treatment is called allergen immunotherapy26.

In most cases, the underlying condition in the immune system that causes anaphylaxis cannot be treated. However, by avoiding allergy triggers and carrying self-administered epinephrine, you can prevent or prepare for an attack.

If you are allergic to certain foods, be sure to carefully read the labels of the foods you buy and eat. When you are eating out, ask what ingredients your dishes contain.

Anaphylaxis medication

You can respond effectively to an anaphylactic attack if you know what the symptoms of an anaphylactic reaction look like and have a plan to quickly treat those symptoms.

May be prescribed

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If you are experiencing anaphylaxis, you might receive CPR if you stop breathing or if your heart stops beating. You might also be given medications or treatments, such as:

  • Epinephrine (adrenaline), which reduces your allergic response. The preferred route of epinephrine administration for all ages groups is an intramuscular (IM) injection to the front or side of the thigh.
  • Oxygen therapy, to help you breathe.
  • A beta-agonist to relieve breathing symptoms, especially if you are not responsive to epinephrine administration.

An epinephrine auto-injector is a syringe with a concealed needle. It injects a dose of epinephrine when pressed against the thigh. The preferred route of epinephrine injection for all age groups is intramuscularly (IM) to the front or side of the thigh.

An EpiPen has a blue side and an orange side. Make sure you know which side of the pen you’re using when you administer it. EpiPen’s mnemonic27 to help you remember is “Blue to the sky, orange to the thigh.”

You should wait for 5–15 minutes before injecting another dose of EpiPen. Do not use the EpiPen again immediately after an injection. Too much epinephrine at once can cause an overdose.

Make sure the person is lying down. Elevate their legs to keep their blood moving towards vital organs. Give the person CPR if they aren’t breathing. Remember to call 911 or go to the emergency room, even after an epinephrine injection.

You should develop an anaphylaxis emergency action plan if you or your child has a severe allergy. Create this written, step-by-step plan with your healthcare provider. This plan should include what to do during and after an anaphylactic reaction.

If your child has a severe allergy, share your emergency action plan with their caregivers or teachers. If your child attends a school, you can ask their school officials whether the school has an epinephrine injector.

Disclaimer: The information on this site is generalized and is not medical advice. It is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of your healthcare professional. Always seek the advice of your healthcare professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard seeking advice or delay in seeking treatment because of something you have read on our site. RxSaver makes no warranty as to the accuracy, reliability or completeness of this information.

If you are in crisis or you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately.