Question: What are common causes of anaphylaxis?
Answer: The common causes of anaphylaxis are foods, medications, insect stings, latex and exercise. There are some patients who experience anaphylaxis after exercise alone. There are other patients who experience anaphylaxis if they eat a particular food or ingest a drug and then exercise. There are also a number of patients who have recurrent episodes of anaphylaxis and we're not able to determine the cause -- those patients who are identified as having idiopathic anaphylaxis. Now the foods that are most commonly involved in causing anaphylaxis in infants and young children are milk, egg, wheat, soy and peanut. The foods most commonly involved in causing anaphylaxis in older children, adolescents and adults are peanuts, tree nuts, fish and shellfish.
The medications that most commonly cause anaphylaxis are antibiotics -- penicillins, cephalosporins, sulfa drugs. Other drugs that are capable of causing or commonly cause anaphylaxis are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications, such as aspirin or ibuprofen. Insect venoms that commonly cause anaphylaxis are stings by bees, wasps, yellow jackets, hornets, or ants. Now, there are other causes of anaphylaxis as well, but these are the most common.
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