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Aust Fam Physician. 2013 Jan-Feb;42(1-2):38-42.

Anaphylaxis - identification, management and prevention.

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Office of the Chief Health Officer, Department of Health, Melbourne, Victoria.



This article summarises current knowledge regarding the identification, management and prevention of anaphylaxis, highlighting risk minimisation strategies relevant to general practitioners.


The most common causes of anaphylaxis are medication, food and insect venom. Medications are the most common cause of anaphylaxis in older adults, particularly antibiotics, anaesthetic drugs, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and opiates. Food allergy is the most common cause of anaphylaxis in children, but rarely results in death. Anaphylaxis is a medical emergency requiring immediate treatment with adrenaline, as well as ongoing management. Important steps for long-term risk minimisation include avoidance of triggers, prescription of an adrenaline autoinjector, maintenance of a personalised emergency action plan for anaphylaxis, education for patients and families and regular review to optimise management.

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