Stinging insect allergy information for patients
A normal, non-allergic reaction to an insect sting typically involves pain, swelling and redness near the site of the sting and possibly beyond.
A serious allergic reaction to an insect sting—which requires immediate medical attention—may include one or more of the following symptoms:5
- Hives, itching and swelling in areas other than the sting site
- Abdominal cramping, vomiting, intense nausea or diarrhea
- Tightness in the chest and difficulty in breathing
- Hoarse voice or swelling of the tongue or throat, or difficulty swallowing
- Dizziness or a sharp drop in blood pressure
- Loss of consciousness or cardiac arrest
After immediate, emergency treatment of your serious allergic reaction to an insect sting, the next step is to ask your primary care provider how to prevent future allergic reactions.