Myth Buster: Egg allergies and Propofol

18 Jun


Bottom line: there is no confirmed report of propofol-induced anaphylaxis in egg-allergic patients.


Propofol is made up of an oil water emulsion using soybean oil (10%) and egg lecithin (1.2%).


Lecithin (from the Greek lekithos, which means egg yolk) is a purified phosphatide found in egg yolk.


Egg allergy is most common during childhood and is usually outgrown by adulthood. The five major allergens that have been characterized originate from the egg white. Chicken serum albumin is the major allergen that has been described from the egg yolk.


The cases documented of anaphylaxis that have been associated with propofol were never followed with formal skin testing.


Now that we are on the topic… what about allergies to soy? Should you be worried that patients with soy allergies will have anaphylaxis to propofol?


Refined soy oil, such that is used to make propofol, is safe for people with soy allergy because the allergenic proteins are removed during the refining process.


Source: Anesthesia in the patient with multiple drug allergies: are all allergies the same? Current Opinion in Anaesthesiology. June 2011. Issue: Volume 24 (3), p 320-325; picture


Submitted by K Estes.


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