TIP: Be Heroic, Alert & Equipped for attacks! Always have a plan in case of emergency and be sure your family/caregiver knows what to do in case you have an attack.

Recognize your triggers

Although HAE attacks are often unpredictable, some potential triggers have been identified.

fatigued figure Fatigue or stress
figure with backache Accidental trauma
alcohol bottle Alcohol
tooth Dental or medical procedures, or surgery
germ Fever, illness, or infection
venus symbol Menstrual cycle or hormonal changes
prescription bottle Medications such as estrogen-containing oral contraceptives, hormone replacement therapy, or ACE inhibitors


Be aware of activities, changes in medications, or situations that may precede or trigger an HAE attack. Keep a journal of your attacks and share it with your HAE specialist during visits. Together, you can look for patterns.

Avoid triggers

It’s best to avoid or minimize your exposure to situations that may trigger an attack. If it’s unavoidable, such as a dental procedure, contact your doctor before undergoing the procedure. There may be precautions you should take.

In addition:

  • Women should not use contraceptives that contain estrogen
  • If stress is a trigger, avoid highly charged situations. Enlist the help and support of others when overwhelmed, and use coping strategies that work for you

TIP: Help your doctor find the right treatment plan for you!

Keep a journal
of your attacks

Write down:

  • Date, location, duration of symptoms
  • Other medications you were on and whether you made changes to them
  • Potential triggers (emotional and physical)
    • Women: note timing with menstrual cycle
  • Any physical warning signs (tingling, fatigue, etc)
  • What you used to treat the attack and how it worked

Be prepared for an attack

An attack is not always preventable. In that case, the best plan is to be prepared:

  • Educate family, loved ones, and coworkers about your condition
  • Before you travel, locate a nearby treatment center. You can find one by visiting HAEA.org
  • Discuss your medical condition and dental work options with both your HAE specialist and your dentist, especially if you are considering extractions or other dental work
  • Identify a friend or caregiver who can assist with administration in the event you cannot self-administer
  • Keep a diagnosis letter from your doctor with you at all times
warning symbol
  • Carry an emergency HAE Identification Card or thumb drive on your keychain that communicates your medical needs in the event that you’re unable to relate important medical information This card should:
    • Identify your condition
    • Provide family emergency names and numbers
    • Supply your doctor's emergency contact information

TIP: World Allergy Organization Guideline:All patients who have an on-demand treatment should be trained to self-administer

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