Treating Mild or Moderate Allergic Reactions

Learn about available treatments for mild to moderate food allergy reactions.

Symptoms of a food allergy reaction can affect different parts of the body. Mild to moderate symptoms include:

  • Nose: itchy/runny nose, sneezing
  • Mouth: itchy mouth
  • Skin: a few hives, mild itch
  • Gut: mild nausea/discomfort

Available Treatments

Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Emergency Care Plan.

These medications are appropriate for a single mild symptom, such as a few hives. They cannot control a severe reaction and are no substitute for epinephrine. If symptoms multiply or worsen, give epinephrine.

Antihistamines, known as H1 blockers, reduce or block histamines—chemicals your body releases when it comes into contact with an allergen. Examples of medications in this class include diphendydramine (Benadryl®) and cetirizine (Zyrtec®).

Next Steps

Anyone having a reaction to a food allergen should be watched closely for changes. Remember that food allergy reactions are unpredictable. The way that your body reacts to a food allergy one time cannot predict how it will react the next time.

Stay with the person and alert his or her emergency contacts.

Symptoms can also worsen quickly, progressing to the life-threatening condition anaphylaxis. Epinephrine is the only treatment for anaphylaxis. Learn more about treating severe allergic reactions.