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, 151 (10), 574-7

[Anaphylaxis: Facts and Fallacies]

[Article in Dutch]
  • PMID: 17402646

[Anaphylaxis: Facts and Fallacies]

[Article in Dutch]
P L P Brand. Ned Tijdschr Geneeskd.

Erratum in

  • Ned Tijdschr Geneeskd. 2007 Apr 14;151(15):896. Dosage error in article text


The diagnosis and management of anaphylaxis is surrounded by many misunderstandings. The diagnosis may be made ifa patient develops respiratory or circulatory symptoms, in addition to skin symptoms, after exposure to a possibly relevant allergen. The most common causes ofanaphylaxis are food allergens, such as peanut and tree nuts, insect stings, and drugs, in particular antibiotics. Many patients with peanut or tree nut allergy show only mild allergic symptoms; only a minority develop anaphylaxis upon exposure. A large local reaction to an insect sting does not constitute insect sting allergy and does not increase the risk of anaphylaxis when stung again. Intramuscular epinephrine is the drug of choice in the treatment of anaphylaxis; antihistaminic agents and corticosteroids are supportive therapeutic agents which should only be considered after epinephrine has been administered. Prevention of recurrence ofanaphylaxis comprises identification and avoidance of the causative allergen, and administration of epinephrine autoinjector when the patient develops suggestive signs of recurrence. When prescribing an epinephrine autoinjector, the patient and all caregivers should be instructed carefully in its correct use; referral to an allergist is recommended.

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