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Expired CME Article

Allergic Reactions to Insect Stings and Bites

John E. Moffitt, MD
Volume: 96 Issue: 11 November, 2003

Abstract:

Insect stings are an important cause of anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis can also occur from insect bites but is less common. Insect venoms contain several well-characterized allergens that can trigger anaphylactic reactions. Effective methods to diagnose insect sting allergy and assess risk of future sting reactions have been developed. Management strategies using insect avoidance measures, self-injectable epinephrine, and allergen immunotherapy are very effective in reducing insect-allergic patients’ risk of reaction from future stings. Diagnostic and management strategies for patients allergic to insect bites are less developed.

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References:

1. Portnoy JM, Moffitt JE, Golden DB, et al; The Joint Force on Practice Parameters, the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, and the Joint Council of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. Stinging insect hypersensitivity: A practice parameter. J Allergy Clin Immunol 1999; 103: 963–980.
 
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12. Hamilton RG, Golden DB, Kagey-Sobotka A, et al. Case report of venom immunotherapy for a patient with large local reactions. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol 2001; 87: 134–137.
 
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19. Moffitt JE, Venarske D, Goddard J, et al. Allergic reactions to Triatoma bites. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol 2003; 91: 122–130, 194.
 
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21. Hrabak TM, Dice JP. Use of immunotherapy in the management of presumed anaphylaxis to the deer fly. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol 2003; 90: 351–354.
 

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