Signs of a reaction
Why does it occur?
How is it treated?

Symptoms of anaphylaxis are likely to include any of the following:1,2


Swelling of

in the throat

Difficulty talking
and/or hoarse voice

Wheeze or
persistent cough

Persistent dizziness
or collapse

Loss of consciousness and/or collapse or becoming pale and floppy (in young children)

Symptoms of a mild to moderate allergic reaction may include:2

Swelling of lips,
face and eyes

Hives or welts

Tingling mouth

Abdominal pain,

(these are signs of
anaphylaxis or severe
allergic reaction for
insect allergy)

Always carry your EpiPen® Auto-Injector, if it’s with you, it could save you.3,4

Why does anaphylaxis occur?

Anaphylaxis can occur in people who are exposed to an allergen to which they are allergic.1

The role of our immune system is to protect us from ‘foreign invaders’. In people with anaphylaxis, the immune system 'overreacts' to the allergen. Contact with, or ingestion of this allergen sets off a chain reaction in the immune system that may lead to anaphylaxis.5

Several factors can influence the severity of allergic reaction.1

  • Exercise
  • Heat
  • Alcohol
  • Food - the amount eaten, and how it is prepared

Have an ASCIA Action Plan for anaphylaxis that you have discussed with your GP or specialist. The action plan will help you recognise symptoms of anaphylaxis, understand what steps to take if you or your child is experiencing anaphylaxis.

Make sure you always carry your EpiPen® Auto-Injector – and know how to use it.1,8

When a person is experiencing anaphylaxis, administer EpiPen® Auto-Injector as soon as possible.6

Help is available

You can find more help and advice on living with allergies and
anaphylaxis from the following organisations:

ASCIA is the peak professional body for clinical immunology and allergy in Australia and New Zealand. The ASCIA website provides accessible, consistent and evidence based resources, education and training about anaphylaxis for health professionals, patients, carers and community.

Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia is the peak not-for-profit organisation for those living with allergy including the risk of anaphylaxis. For trusted information and support, go to