How is anaphylaxis treated?

The only effective treatment for acute anaphylaxis is epinephrine (adrenaline) by injection (shot). Epinephrine works quickly to reverse anaphylactic symptoms. The patient can give him- or herself an epinephrine injection. The most common spot to inject is the thigh.

If you are near someone who is going into anaphylactic shock, call for professional medical help immediately. CPR and other lifesaving measures may be needed.

If the person cannot breathe, medical professionals may have to place a tube through the nose or mouth into the airway or even perform emergency surgery (tracheostomy) to place a tube directly into the trachea (windpipe).

In addition to epinephrine, treatment for shock includes intravenous fluids and medications to support the actions of the heart and circulatory system. After a person in shock is stabilized, he or she may receive antihistamines and corticosteroids to further reduce symptoms.

Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy