National pholcodine consumption and prevalence of IgE-sensitization: a multicentre study

Department of Clinical Immunology and Transfusion Medicine, Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden.
Allergy (Impact Factor: 6). 10/2009; 65(4):498-502. DOI: 10.1111/j.1398-9995.2009.02193.x
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The aim of this study was to test, on a multinational level, the pholcodine (PHO) hypothesis, i.e. that the consumption of PHO-containing cough mixtures could cause higher prevalence of IgE antibodies to PHO, morphine (MOR) and suxamethonium (SUX). As a consequence the risk of anaphylaxis to neuromuscular blocking agents (NMBA) will be increased.
National PHO consumptions were derived from the United Nations International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) database. IgE and IgE antibodies to PHO, MOR, SUX and P-aminophenyl-phosphoryl choline (PAPPC) were measured in sera from atopic individuals, defined by a positive Phadiatop test (>0.35 kU(A)/l), collected in nine countries representing high and low PHO-consuming nations.
There was a significant positive association between PHO consumption and prevalences of IgE-sensitization to PHO and MOR, but not to SUX and PAPPC, as calculated both by exposure group comparisons and linear regression analysis. The Netherlands and the USA, did not have PHO-containing drugs on the markets, although the former had a considerable PHO consumption. Both countries had high figures of IgE-sensitization.
This international prevalence study lends additional support to the PHO hypothesis and, consequently, that continued use of drugs containing this substance should be seriously questioned. The results also indicate that other, yet unknown, substances may lead to IgE-sensitization towards NMBAs.

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Epinephrine is the recommended treatment in anaphylactic shock. Recently cases of anaphylactic shock refractory to epinephrine have been reported. The authors report the efficacy of a bolus of vasopressin in a refractory anaphylactic shock caused by rocuronium after failure the epinephrine. Thought this case report and review of literature, the authors discuss the mechanism of action and the effectiveness of this alternative treatment, vasopressin, in refractory anaphylactic shock to epinephrine.
    04/2013; 29(2):175-178. DOI:10.1016/j.egja.2012.12.002
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Perioperative anaphylaxis is a life-threatening condition with an estimated prevalence of 1:3,500 to 1:20,000 procedures and a mortality rate of up to 9 %. Clinical presentation involves signs such as skin rash, urticaria, angioedema, bronchospasm, tachycardia, bradycardia, and hypotension. Prompt recognition and treatment is of utmost importance to the patient's prognosis, since clinical deterioration can develop rapidly. Epinephrine is the main treatment drug, and its use should not be postponed, since delayed administration is associated with increased mortality. Elevated levels of serum tryptase help to confirm the diagnosis. The main agents involved in IgE-mediated perioperative anaphylaxis are neuromuscular blocking agents, latex, antibiotics, hypnotics, opioids, and colloids. Specific investigation should be conducted 4 to 6 weeks after the reaction and relies on skin tests, serum-specific IgE, and challenge procedures. This review aims to discuss the main aspects of perioperative anaphylaxis: risk factors, diagnosis, treatment, culprit agents, specific investigation, and preventive measures.
    Current Allergy and Asthma Reports 08/2014; 14(8):452. DOI:10.1007/s11882-014-0452-6 · 2.45 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Accumulating data indicates that pholcodine (PHO)-consuming countries have higher sero-prevalences of immunoglobulin E (IgE)-antibodies to PHO and suxamethonium (SUX) and increased frequencies of IgE-mediated anaphylaxis to neuromuscular blocking agents (NMBAs) than nonconsuming. Withdrawing PHO-containing cough syrups resulted in a significant decrease of cases with anaphylaxis in Scandinavia. Nevertheless, the European Medicines Agency in 2011 advised to continue the unrestricted use throughout the European Union. To extend studies on PHO consumption and prevalence of IgE-sensitization to morphine (MOR), PHO, and SUX to countries representing high (Australia), and low (Korea and Japan), consumers, respectively. IgE-antibodies to SUX, MOR, and PHO in atopic subjects were determined by immunoassay and compared with official figures for PHO consumption and reported anaphylaxis to NMBA. The prevalences of IgE-antibodies to PHO, MOR, and SUX were 10%, 8.6%, and 4.3%, respectively, in Australia. The corresponding figures for Japan were 0.8%, 0.8%, and 1.5%, and for Korea 1.0% to PHO and 0.5% to MOR and SUX. Of the SUX-positive sera, 100% were positive to PHO or MOR in Australia and 0% in Japan and Korea. The study supports previous findings; exposure to PHO may induce IgE-antibodies to the substituted ammonium ion epitope of NMBAs, thus increasing risk of NMBA-induced anaphylaxis considerably. However, other, still unknown factors occasionally might induce IgE-antibodies to SUX.
    04/2014; 4(2):86-90. DOI:10.5415/apallergy.2014.4.2.86