Severe Allergic Reaction (Anaphylactic Shock)


What symptoms and signs did you experience with anaphylactic shock? Submit Your Comment

Comment from: driddle, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: July 27

I took a penicillin for an infection. Left home to go to grocery store. Within 10 minutes I was feeling strange. I started itching that got worse with every passing minute. By the time I got back home, I looked as though I had been burned; red all over, even the whites of my eyes. I took a Benadryl and called the hospital. They said to call 911 or get to the hospital immediately. I proceeded to drive myself. I stopped and got my mother because I thought I was going to die. My left arm and hand felt like it was being broken, and my breathing became very labored. My tongue was so swollen, as were my eyes, and lips. My heart was hurting. I passed out when I got through the emergency room doors. Doctors told me my heart stopped twice, and they had to put the pads on me to re-start my heart. I had taken penicillin in the past with no problems. The doctor asked me why I drove myself to the hospital. I told him I had never had an allergic reaction before, and just did not know any better. He said that had I not taken the Benadryl, I would have died, and even with it, in less than 10 more minutes I would have been dead. From the time I took it, until my heart stopped was just a little over a half hour. Please don't do what I did, I didn't know. Call 911. It really could save your life.

Comment from: Tracey, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: May 29

I don't know what caused my anaphylaxis attack, I was really poorly with my IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) the night before. The next morning I ate my usual breakfast toast, went in to the garden with my dog, my throat felt strange my eyes started to swell and itch, my mouth and lips started to swell and I started to cough, with chest tightness. I took some antihistamine straight away, swelling became worse, and hives appeared on my chest. I sought medical attention and was given steroids. The hives affected every part of me, I felt really unwell, and was treated and observed in Accident and Emergency for a few hours. It took nine days for the symptoms to subside, and what happened to me on the outside affected me on the inside. Not knowing why it happened is very unnerving. I have being referred to an immunologist.

Comment from: 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: May 29

I have cancer, and I had gone in to have my chemotherapy infusion. I had been taking the same chemotherapy drug for some time, but this time my body reacted. All of a sudden I had the feeling something was not right. I called the nurse and asked her to turn off the IV, as I felt that I couldn't breathe. I don't really remember the next few minutes, but the next thing I knew it felt like there were fifty nurses and a doctor there. I could hear, but couldn't really respond for a little bit. They were shooting things into my IV, and then they put a rubber oxygen mask on me. The doctor kept telling me I would be all right and would feel better soon. It took a while, but finally I could breathe again. Never that drug again. Very scary.

Comment from: Melissa, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: April 17

Within 30 minutes of anaphylaxis I could not breathe through my nose and then my ears became itchy inside. It became harder and harder to breathe. I lay down and focused on my breath. It sounded like I was breathing through a straw and as I would exhale I could hear a rattle or vibration in my chest. Slowly I began to breathe better after an hour and realized I was itchy all over and my face was numb or tingling. When I was able to get up my face was huge! My hands and arms were puffy too. Thankfully I am ok. I did go to the doctor and they prescribed a steroid for me. I am still swollen but feeling way better.

Comment from: Toisan, 45-54 Female (Caregiver) Published: February 23

A worker was stung by bees a few days ago here in the cloud forest in Ecuador. He had no reaction until five or six hours later, when he became weak and unable to stand. He was successfully treated at a local health clinic. I wonder if this was anaphylactic shock or might it have been something else.

Comment from: jacki08, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: June 18

I got overdosed in the theatre, and I have hypertension episodes, absolutely wet. I am thoroughly confused with pain and fear, I can’t go out.

Comment from: Gardener39, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: February 20

Two nights ago in our home we had bread dipped in balsamic vinegar and olive oil. With my second bite instantly I could not breathe. I tried to keep calm and made an effort to get some air in or out. Probably after a minute I was able to get some air in and within another couple of minutes I was breathing normally. We checked the balsamic vinegar - purchased from and called Safeway Select. It is a product of Italy. Ingredients are grape must concentrated, wine vinegar (contains sulfites), and cooked grape must.

Comment from: maureenanne, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: May 17

I had a wonderful facial and body massage at a reputable Spa, felt wonderful, stayed the night at resort and had a great night’s sleep. Twelve hours later I tried a tester on the counter at Spa which contained argon oil as main ingredient. I had a severe allergic reaction within 5 minutes. I had swelling of face, eyes and neck. I also saw redness all over area where I applied the cream and around elbow and knees. Feeling very hot flushes and very thirsty. I took 2 Benadryl. After 15 minutes the symptoms begin to calm down. Then I feel tired and cold, I need to have a sleep for three hours. I wake feeling fussy headed and still tired.


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Comment from: 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: August 31

I am a little worried although I do tend to over react sometimes. It just came upon me suddenly. Me not feeling well, then the dizziness started. My right hand and feet were swollen and tingling all night long. I had to keep getting out of bed so that I could feel them. They felt numb. My tongue is swollen on one side with little bumps and burns a little bit. I feel warm and am incredibly thirsty.

Comment from: Millie, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: August 17

Started felling that overall "something was not right," feet and hands started to tingle, I got somewhat anxious, which I NEVER DO. Then felt dizzy and could not hear. Had to hang on to a wall. Then I had cramps and made it to the toilet and emptied my entire body of stool and fluid. I thought if I did not get out of the bathroom I would die "on these white and green tiles." I happened to be in a hospital at the time, as my aunt was dying. I made it out of the room the nurse took my B/P (and turned the machine away from me with a weird look on her face) I turned it back to me and read 20/20. By that time I was soaking wet, skin was red and I wanted to itch my head and feet off. All this took about 5 min. I think I was confused and rambling also. Not real clear on that part. Was admitted. When discharged 24 hours later my B/P was still 60/40 and until I took a prednisone my throat was "thick". Scared the crap out of me. Oh, I am an RN. Took Aleve. Had been taking Motrin daily for back aches for a couple of years. Not taking it anymore!

Comment from: greig, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: September 05

I was running a brush loader clearing land when I hit a hornets’ nest. I was stung 10 times about the hand and face. I jumped off the loader and started to walk to the road when I felt like was getting mildly electrocuted. This was within one minute of being stung. I fell down and couldn’t maintain my balance and passed out briefly. I lay there paralyzed thinking I’m going to die when I see my work partner. I weakly yelled and he put me on the ATV. He took me to the house and I told him to get me Benadryl. I took two and I felt better. Later, I went to the emergency room where they gave me two bags of I.V. fluid and adrenalin shots. This was the scariest experience of my life.

Comment from: Reba, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: October 18

My hands get warm and start to itch.

Comment from: RS, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: April 16

I am 63 years old and have been treated by an allergist for 6 years. Until about 1 1/2 years ago, my allergies were totally controlled. In the meantime, I had been diagnosed with IBS. I was in cedar and brush for most of the day and woke up vomiting with diarrhea, sweating, and cramps. Later on, I was coughing until I thought I had broken my ribs and I was unable to get my congestion under control. I assumed this was triggered by an IBS attack, but my allergist told me this was an anaphylactic reaction and had me get Epi-pens.

Comment from: willow, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: March 12

I am a 68 year old healthy woman. I have horses and take care of them every day for 15 years. This has happened to me four times in the last two months. My hairline at the forehead starts to tingle and then it washes down my body I turn blood red to my knees. It feels like I am on fire with hot needles sticking me. I don't feel bad other than that. I take Benadryl and it subsides.

Comment from: Female Published: July 25

I ate several king crab legs last night. I love them and have eaten them many times before. My throat swelled quite quickly and I thought that strep throat was happening. I could grab my tubes at the front of the neck and move them easily. They were large. It hurt to talk and even swallow. I went to bed and my right ear woke me with pain. (I lay on my right) worst pain I have had in my ear ever.My husband brought me a heat pack and an Aleve pain pill. I went to sleep and woke with my ear still sore and light headedness. I think I will head to the Dr. today.


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