in "multiple medical preparations (eg, vitamin oils, vaccines, and
anticancer agents) "
"Polysorbate 80 is a ubiquitously used solubilizing agent that can cause
severe nonimmunologic anaphylactoid reactions. "
Polysorbate 80 in medical products and nonimmunologic anaphylactoid reactions
Authors: Coors, Esther A.;¬ Seybold, Heidi1;¬ Merk, Hans F.2;¬ Mahler, Vera1
Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, Volume 95,¬ Number 6, December
2005, pp. 593-599(7)
American College of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology
Background: Polyoxyethylene-sorbitan-20-monooleate (also known as
polysorbate 80 and Tween 80) is a solubilizing agent ubiquitously used in
nutritives, creams, ointments, lotions, and multiple medical preparations
(eg, vitamin oils, vaccines, and anticancer agents) and as an additive in
tablets. Whereas its relevance as a contact allergen has declined during
the past decades, it is of current relevance as a ‚?ohidden‚?Ě inductor of
Objective: To identify polysorbate 80 (generally believed to be an inert
vehicle) as an inductor of a severe anaphylactoid reaction.
Methods: Skin prick testing, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, IgE
immunoblotting, and flow cytometric detection of basophil activation were
performed in controls and in a patient with a medical history of
anaphylactic shock due to intravenous administration of a multivitamin
product during pregnancy.
Results: Polysorbate 80 was identified as the causative agent for the
anaphylactoid reaction of nonimmunologic origin in the patient. Polysorbate
specific IgE antibodies were not identified in enzyme-linked immunosorbent
assay and immunoblot examinations, confirming the nonimmunologic nature of
the anaphylactoid reaction.
Conclusions: Polysorbate 80 is a ubiquitously used solubilizing agent that
can cause severe nonimmunologic anaphylactoid reactions.
Document Type: Original article
Affiliations: 1: Department of Dermatology, Friedrich-Alexander University
of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Erlangen, Germany. 2: Department of Dermatology,
University of Aachen, Aachen, Germany.
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