Information updates

Updated ASCIA cow’s milk (dairy) allergy patient information

19 November 2018

Cow’s milk (dairy) allergy affects around 2% (1 in 50) babies In Australia and New Zealand. In recent years deaths from severe allergic reactions (anaphylaxis) to cow’s milk have occurred in allergic babies and children. ASCIA patient information has therefore been updated to include more information about anaphylaxis to cow’s milk.  

Rapid onset allergic reactions usually occur within 15 minutes, and sometimes up to 2 hours after consuming cow's milk or other dairy foods. Symptoms include one of more of the following:

  • Mild or moderate allergic reactions - hives (urticaria), swelling of the lips, face or eyes, stomach (abdominal) pain, vomiting and diarrhoea. 
  • Severe allergic reactions (anaphylaxis) - noisy breathing or wheeze, tongue swelling, throat swelling or tightness, hoarse voice, loss of consciousness and floppiness in babies or young children.

Anaphylaxis should always be treated as a medical emergency, requiring immediate treatment with adrenaline (epinephrine) and calling for an ambulance. 

For more information go to the ASCIA website: www.allergy.org.au/patients/food-allergy/cows-milk-dairy-allergy

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