A severe allergic reaction, also known as anaphylaxis, occurs in some people when they are exposed to a usually harmless substance, called an allergy trigger.
The body overreacts to allergy triggers and releases chemicals to protect itself. In severe cases, this reaction produces life-threatening symptoms.
Who’s at risk?
Anyone who has ever experienced an allergic reaction in the past is at higher risk of having a severe allergic reaction in the future. Your risk is also higher if you have asthma or if you have allergies specific to food products.
You are not alone. It is estimated that as many as 4% of Canadians have food allergies.
Severe allergic reactions
The severity of previous reactions cannot predict the severity of future reactions. So future reactions can be the same, better, or worse than a previous reaction. Among people who died of either a food or insect allergy, about 1 in 5 had never experienced a severe allergic reaction before.
Severe allergic reactions can be unpredictable, but you can be prepared by carrying EpiPen® with you at all times.
Learn more in the
EpiPen® video gallery.