Anaphylaxis is a severe, life-threatening, generalised or systemic hypersensitivity reaction. It is characterised by rapidly developing life-threatening airway and/or breathing and/or circulation problems usually associated with skin and mucosal changes. Anaphylaxis can be triggered by a very broad range of triggers, but those most commonly identified include food, drugs and venom. The relative importance of these varies very considerably with age, with food being particularly important in children and medicinal products being much more common triggers in older people.
The Anaphylaxis Campaign provides in-depth information and helpline services.