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The NHS advises if someone has anaphylaxis to:

1. Use an adrenaline auto-injector if the person has one – but make sure you know how to use it correctly first.

2. Call 999 for an ambulance immediately (even if they start to feel better) – mention that you think the person has anaphylaxis.

3. Remove any trigger if possible – for example, carefully remove any stinger stuck in the skin.

4. Lie the person down flat – unless they’re unconscious, pregnant or having breathing difficulties.

5. Give another injection after 5 to 15 minutes if the symptoms do not improve and a second auto-injector is available.

But common anaphylaxis triggers tend to include:

  • foods – including nuts, milk, fish, shellfish, eggs and some fruits
  • medicines – including some antibiotics and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like aspirin
  • insect stings – particularly wasp and bee stings
  • general anaesthetic
  • contrast agents – dyes used in some medical tests to help certain areas of your body show up better on scans
  • latex – a type of rubber found in some rubber gloves and condoms


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