In severe cases, shellfish allergy can lead to anaphylaxis, a dangerous allergic reaction marked by a swollen throat (airway constriction), rapid pulse, shock, and dizziness or lightheadedness. Anaphylaxis can be life-threatening.

When you have shellfish allergy, you may be at increased risk of anaphylaxis if:

  • You have asthma
  • You have allergic reactions to very small amounts of shellfish (extreme sensitivity)
  • You have a history of food-induced anaphylaxis

Anaphylaxis can be treated with an emergency injection of epinephrine (adrenaline). If you are at risk of having a severe allergic reaction to shellfish, you should carry injectable epinephrine (such as an EpiPen) with you at all times.

Jun. 23, 2011