Logo

About Allergies

Non-Food Allergens

Non-Food Causes of Anaphylaxis

In addition to food, anaphylaxis can be caused by medication, insect stings, latex, exercise, or unknown reasons (“idiopathic”).

Medication

An allergy to medication happens when your immune system reacts to the drug. Any drug can cause a reaction. Learn more

Insect Stings

The most common sources of allergy from insect stings are honeybees, bumblebees, yellow jackets, hornets, wasps, or fire ants. Insect allergy can start at any age in life. Learn more

Latex

Some people are allergic to latex. For these people, allergic reactions can be caused by exposure to latex products or inhaling airborne latex particles. Learn more

Exercise

Exercise-induced anaphylaxis (EIA) is not common, but it happens. For some people, exercise alone can cause a reaction, usually within 45 minutes to an hour of starting to exercise.

Some exercise-induced anaphylaxis is caused by eating a certain food within a few hours before or after exercising. The food alone might not cause a reaction, but together with exercise it does. Your allergist will provide guidelines for you to follow when exercising and will prescribe an auto-injector which you should always carry with you.

Unknown (idiopathic)

Idiopathic anaphylaxis is a rare condition in which anaphylaxis occurs and there is no known trigger. It is difficult to diagnose and is done by eliminating all other possibilities.

Your allergist will take a thorough history, do a physical exam, and run other tests (such as allergy testing) to rule out common allergens and other diseases. Individual treatment for idiopathic anaphylaxis depends on the frequency and severity of the reactions.