Angioedema: Treatment

Treatment

Mild symptoms may not need treatment. Moderate to severe symptoms may need treatment. Breathing difficulty is an emergency condition.

Cool compresses or soaks can provide pain relief.

Medications used to treat angioedema include:

  • Antihistamines
  • Anti-inflammatory medicines (corticosteroids)
  • Cimetidine (Tagamet)
  • Epinephrine
  • Terbutaline (a bronchodilator)

If the person has trouble breathing, seek immediate medical help.

See: Breathing difficulties – first aid

At the hospital, a tube may be placed in the throat to keep the airway open.

Prognosis (Expectations)

Angioedema that does not affect the breathing may be uncomfortable, but is usually harmless and goes away in a few days.

Complications

  • Anaphylactic reaction
  • Life-threatening airway blockage (if swelling occurs in the throat)

Calling Your Health Care Provider

Call your health care provider if:

  • Angioedema does not respond to treatment
  • It is severe
  • You have never had angioedema before

Go to the emergency room or call the local emergency number (such as 911) if you have:

  • Abnormal breathing sounds (stridor)
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Fainting
  • Wheezing

Review Date : 4/28/2008
Reviewed By : David C. Dugdale, III., MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. Stuart I. Henochowicz, MD, FACP, Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine, Division of Allergy, Immunology, and Rheumatology, Georgetown University Medical School. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only — they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- 2010 A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.

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Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.

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