Natural rubber latex is found in items such as gloves, condoms, balloons, and more. Sometimes, latex causes only a mild skin irritation in sensitized individuals; other times it can trigger a severe allergic reaction. In fact, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, inhaling small latex particles, perhaps from being in the vicinity of someone donning and/or removing latex gloves, may be enough to trigger a reaction.6
Anaphylaxis may also be caused by allergies to the following drugs and contrast agents:6,15-17
Penicillin and other antibiotics
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), e.g., aspirin and aspirin-related products
Muscle relaxants (e.g., suxamethonium, alcuronium, vecuronium, pancuronium, and atracurium, which are widely used in general anesthesia)
Biologics and monoclonal antibodies
Contrast agents (i.e., special dyes to help internal body parts or functions show up better on scans)
Venom from stinging insects (such as bees, yellow jackets, wasps, and hornets) and bites from fire ants may cause anaphylaxis.6 Anaphylaxis caused by insect-venom allergy has been reported in 3 percent of adults and 1 percent of children who’ve been stung.16 Additionally 80 to 90 percent of fatal insect venom anaphylaxis occurs in men 50 to 60 years old on average.8
Wear a medical-alert ID, such as a necklace or bracelet.1
Keep an emergency kit with any prescribed medications available at all times.1
Ensure any epinephrine autoinjectors (e.g., EpiPen, Jext, Emerade) are current (as opposed to expired).1
Provide personalized anaphylaxis information to anyone that interacts with children with severe allergies or a history of anaphylaxis. Ensure that everyone he or she regularly comes into contact with is aware of the risk and understands what to do an emergency situation. Consider informing people such as school nurses, teachers, daycare providers, coaches, neighbors, parents of the affected child’s friends, etc.19
Educate yourself about generic drugs and brand names for drugs that may cause reactions (if applicable). Be especially aware of ingredients in combination products and become familiar with drugs that could cause cross-reactions.6
Avoid food-allergen exposure (if applicable) via tactics such as:1,6
Reading food labels carefully to check for potential allergens,
Asking restaurants how each dish is prepared, what ingredients it contains, and what cross-contamination efforts are employed, and
Preventing cross contamination while cooking by washing hands, surfaces, utensils, etc.
Wearing bright colors, perfumes, colognes, and scented lotions, which may attract insects, and
Drinking and/or eating from soda cans and containers that have been outdoors and may conceal insects.
Ask your healthcare provider to create an anaphylaxis action plan to help you better prepare for an emergency.6
Educate your family, friends, and co-workers about your allergies (or those of your child) and how to recognize symptoms of anaphylaxis.3
Ensure all healthcare providers are aware of your allergies, especially if you plan to have a medical procedure.3
Learn more about exposure-reduction strategies specific to your unique allergic triggers via our more than 60 individual Allergen Fact Sheets.
If someone is showing signs of anaphylaxis—such as pale, cool, and clammy skin; a weak, rapid pulse; trouble breathing; confusion; and/or loss of consciousness—the Mayo Clinic suggests you immediately do the following:19
Call your local emergency phone number (e.g., 911 in the United States, 112 in Europe).
Make sure the person is lying down and elevate the legs.
Use an epinephrine autoinjector, if available.
Check the person's pulse and breathing, and if necessary administer CPR or other first-aid measures.
Mayo Clinic [Internet] Anaphylaxis.
Rochester, MN: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2021 Oct. 2.
Available from: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/anaphylaxis/symptoms-causes/syc-20351468
American Academy of Allergy, Asthma
& Immunology [Internet] Allergic Reaction Defined. Milwaukee WI, American
Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Accessed July 2022. Available
Cleveland Clinic [Internet]. Cleveland
OH: Cleveland Clinic; 2021 Jan 13. Available from:
Cianferoni A, Muraro A. Food-induced
anaphylaxis. Immunol Allergy Clin North Am. 2012 Feb;32(1):165-95. doi:
10.1016/j.iac.2011.10.002. Epub 2011 Nov 21. PMID: 22244239; PMCID: PMC3440177.
Available from: chrome-extension://efaidnbmnnnibpcajpcglclefindmkaj/https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3440177/pdf/nihms339803.pdf
American Academy of Allergy, Asthma
& Immunology [Internet]. Milwaukee WI, American Academy of Allergy, Asthma
& Immunology. Accessed July 2022. Available from:
Asthma and Allergy Foundation of
America [Internet]. Arlington, VA: Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America;
2017 Feb. Available from:
Babina M, Hompes S. Causes and risk factors for anaphylaxis. J Dtsch Dermatol
Ges. 2013 Jan;11(1):44-50. doi: 10.1111/j.1610-0387.2012.08045.x. Epub 2012 Nov
26. PMID: 23181736. Available from:
Mayo Clinic [Internet] Alpha gal. Rochester,
MN: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2021 Oct. 2. Available
The University of Manchester
[Internet]. Manchester, UK: The University of Manchester; 2006 Oct 18.
Food Allergy Canada [Internet].
Toronto, Canada. Accessed July 2022. Available from: https://foodallergycanada.ca/allergies/mustard.
American College of Allergy, Asthma
& Immunology [Internet] Arlington Heights, IL: American College of Allergy,
Asthma & Immunology. Accessed July 2022. Available from:
Lockey R. World Allergy Organization
[Internet]. Milwaukee, WI: World allergy Organization; 2019 April. Available
and Elias G Akl. “Management and Prevention of Anaphylaxis.” F1000Research vol.
4 F1000 Faculty Rev-1492. 22 Dec. 2015, doi:10.12688/f1000research.7181.1 Available
NHS [Internet]. United Kingdom. 2021
Nov 1. Available from: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/anaphylaxis.
Mayo Clinic [Internet] Anaphylaxis
Diagnosis. Rochester, MN: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research;
2021 Oct. 2. Available from: