What is the progression of symptoms in anaphylaxis?

Updated: May 16, 2018
  • Author: S Shahzad Mustafa, MD; Chief Editor: Michael A Kaliner, MD  more...
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Answer

Initially, patients often describe a sense of impending doom, accompanied by pruritus and flushing. This can evolve rapidly into the following symptoms, broken down by organ system:

  • Cutaneous/ocular - Flushing, urticaria, angioedema, cutaneous and/or conjunctival pruritus, warmth, and swelling

  • Respiratory - Nasal congestion, rhinorrhea, throat tightness, wheezing, shortness of breath, cough, hoarseness

  • Cardiovascular - Dizziness, weakness, syncope, chest pain, palpitations

  • Gastrointestinal - Dysphagia, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, bloating, cramps

  • Neurologic - Headache, dizziness, blurred vision, and seizure (very rare and often associated with hypotension)

  • Other - Metallic taste, feeling of impending doom


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