At Your Appointment

Severe Allergic Reactions Appointment Guide

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Ask the right questions at your next doctor’s appointment. Answer two questions below to personalize your appointment guide.
  • Please describe the symptoms and issues you’re having that led you to schedule this online appointment. Start at the beginning of this current episode and tell me how and when things have changed and progressed.
  • What substances trigger your severe allergic reactions? When was your last severe episode?
  • Do you always carry your epinephrine autoinjector? Where do you keep it?
  • Who else knows where you keep your autoinjector and how to use it? Do they also know CPR?
  • What kind of medical alert, such as a bracelet or keychain, are you using?
  • Have you noticed any new triggers or unusual symptoms?
  • Describe your symptoms. Do you experience itching, hives, difficulty swallowing, swelling in the face, wheezing, breathing problems, or vomiting?
  • How long did your symptoms last?
  • Did you use anything or any medicine to treat the symptoms? Did it help?
  • Where were you and what were you doing when the reaction occurred?
  • What foods or medicines did you take within six hours of the reaction?
  • Did you have an insect sting or bite before the reaction?
  • Is your epinephrine autoinjector in date or has it expired?
  • What allergy tests and treatments have you had so far?
  • What new symptoms are you experiencing?
  • How often have you had to use your autoinjector since our last visit? What other allergy medicines do you take, and how often?
  • What are the symptoms of anaphylaxis? Do any of mine match these symptoms?
  • Can you tell who will have anaphylaxis before it occurs?
  • Does having an allergy put me at risk for anaphylaxis?
  • What other factors increase the risk of anaphylaxis?
  • Could any of my other medical conditions or medicines make anaphylaxis more difficult to recognize?
  • What should my emergency plan be? Who should have a copy of my plan?
  • What should be in my emergency kit?
  • If I use my epinephrine autoinjector, do I still need to go to the emergency room?
  • What kind of medical alert, such as a bracelet, should I have? How do I get one?
  • Does having one episode of anaphylaxis mean I will have another one?
  • How can I help prevent anaphylaxis in the future?
  • Can we review how to properly use my epinephrine autoinjector?
  • What other medications can I take in addition to epinephrine?
  • Are my new symptoms related to my severe allergy?
  • Could allergy shots help me reduce my body's allergic response?
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Medical Reviewer: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS
Last Review Date: 2018 Sep 20
THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.
  1. Anaphylaxis. American Academy of Family Physicians. https://familydoctor.org/condition/anaphylaxis/
  2. Anaphylaxis. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/anaphylaxis/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20351474