Q. Does itchy and burning throat with swallowing difficulty indicate anaphylaxis?

Answered by
Dr. Sandeep Shrestha
and medically reviewed by Dr. Preetha J
This is a premium question & answer published on Oct 11, 2021

Hello doctor,

I am a 21-year-old female. Since yesterday, I am experiencing itching and burning sensations in my throat and mouth. I took the tablet Claritin, and it helped for a short duration. After the drug, I developed small, red, itchy bumps inside my mouth.

I went to the ER, and they gave me Benadryl and Prednisone, which worked for a while, but my mouth is itchy again. It also hurts to swallow food. Is this an allergic reaction to food?

I am allergic to bandage adhesives and penicillin. I have a fear of anaphylaxis.

Kindly help.



Welcome to

Your history and pictures seem to be allergic pharyngitis (attachments removed to protect the patient’s identity). Allergic pharyngitis is the inflammation of the back of the throat that usually causes throat discomfort, throat itching, and difficulty in swallowing. It can occur following an allergy to food, cold, or dust, followed by a sore throat. Try to notice what gives you throat itching and throat discomfort, and kindly try to avoid it. If you fear anaphylaxis, then it is advisable to do an allergy test to be on the safer side.

I suggest you take the following medication;

1) Tablet Levocetirizine 5 mg at night for seven days.

2) Gargle with salt water thrice daily.

I hope this will help you.

Thank you.

Hello doctor,

Thank you for your response.

I took Levocetirizine and did gargling with salt water as directed. I also finished a course of Prednisone/Pepcid from my doctor, and the rash still has not gone away. It is also on the roof of my mouth. That week I also developed rashes on my body (curiously, the hives were not all over but had flared up in places. I have had rashes in the past that are a rash from bandage adhesives from months ago, folliculitis on my leg from years back, etc., that had healed long ago). The steroids took care of my body rashes (they are completely gone), but the inflammation in my throat is still lingering. My appointment with the allergist was not until last month, so I am at a loss about what to do in the meantime. I have not been eating as well as I should, out of fear of causing another reaction. Could this be some kind of autoimmune disorder?



Welcome back to

It is typically an allergic reaction.

An autoimmune disorder is less likely.

As bumps in the throat may take time to disappear, the symptoms should be improved first (itching or pain).

Do not get afraid. You can eat food that you are not allergic to. It is important to maintain your diet.

If you feel there is no improvement after taking Levocetirizine, you can switch to tablet Fexofenadine 120 mg once daily at night for two weeks.

If you feel there is mild improvement in symptoms like itching, then continue the medication, and you can add tablet Montelukast 10 mg with Levocetirizine at night.

If it is possible, please do an allergic test.

Thank you.

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