Just like symptoms can vary in severity, they can also differ in presentation. Skin is most often affected with feelings of itching, tingling, warmth and/or hives. Coughing, wheezing, difficulty breathing, swelling of the mouth and throat and other respiratory symptoms are also relatively common.
Gastrointestinal issues including cramping, vomiting and diarrhea can occur in anywhere from one-third to almost half of anaphylactic patients. Very serious symptoms such as a drop in blood pressure, loss of consciousness and difficulty breathing are rare but need to be addressed immediately. Don’t wait to see what happens—call 911.
Good to Know
Symptoms can begin immediately or up to several hours after the exposure.
Reactions can worsen over time and with repeated exposure.
Generally speaking, the faster the reaction happens the more severe it may be.
Some people can have a late phase reaction—both an immediate response to exposure and a second attack up to 2 to 24 hours later (without re-exposure).