During an anaphylactic reaction, large quantities of inflammatory mediators are rapidly released. The resultant reaction is severe and may threaten the life of the individual. The introduction of a specific antigen— usually in food or in injected material—into a sensitized individual can cause the rapid release of mast cell contents, producing a decrease in blood pressure, impaired respiratory function, abdominal cramps, and urticaria. Extreme and severe anaphylaxis is life threatening and requires prompt medical intervention.
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