Anaphylaxis is characterized by respiratory distress caused by bron-chospasm. cutaneous manifestations such as urticaria or angioedema, and gastrointestinal hypermotility. Patients may die as a consequence of airway compromise or hypotension and vascular collapse caused by widespread vasodilation.
Treatment of anaphylaxis is immediate epinephrine, antihistamines, airway protection, and blood pressure support as necessary. Corticosteroids may help prevent late recurrence of symptoms.
Serum sickness is an immune complex-mediated disease that may include fever, cutaneous eruptions, lymphadenopathy, arthritis, and glomerulonephritis. It usually is self-limited, but treatment may be necessary for renal complications.
Erythema multiforme minor is characterized by urticarial or bullous eruptions, often with target lesions, usually following herpes simplex virus infections. Erythema multiforme major (Stevens-Johnson syndrome) usually is caused by drugs and includes cutaneous and mucosal involvement.
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