There is a difference in implication between British and American usage of the term anaphylaxis. As used by Americans, anaphylaxis usually relates to all generalised IgE-mediated reactions that are characterised by the above symptoms, irrespective of severity. In the case of the 'big 8' foods that cause most cases of food-related allergic reactions, it may act as a warning of the potential for anaphylaxis, even if it has not happened yet. The British use of the term is reserved for those in whom exposure to an allergen has caused a significant fall in blood pressure or severe wheezing.

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