Signs and symptoms

Recognising an allergic reaction

Signs and symptoms usually occur immediately or within 2 hours.

Many factors can affect the severity of a reaction.

These include things like how much allergen you’ve eaten and what it was eaten with, alcohol consumption, walking or exercising, whether you have asthma, if you are unwell, or if you are premenstrual.

Signs of a mild to moderate allergic reaction include:

  • Swelling of lips, face, eyes
  • Hives or welts
  • Tingling mouth
  • Abdominal pain, vomiting — signs of anaphylaxis for insect allergy.

Signs of a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) include:

  • Difficult/noisy breathing
  • Swelling of tongue
  • Swelling/tightness in throat
  • Difficulty talking and/or hoarse voice
  • Wheeze or persistent cough
  • Persistent dizziness or collapse
  • Pale and floppy (young children)

As soon as you notice any one of these signs, using an Epipen is your best chance of reversing an anaphylaxis.

Need help?

If you need help, contact one of the organisations below:

Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia

  • Phone 1300 728 000
    This support line is NOT an emergency helpline. Please call 000 for an ambulance in an emergency.
  • Send an email

Get an ASCIA Action Plan

You can download and prepare an ASCIA Analyphaxis Action Plan from their website.