- Three men of 65, 41 and 54 years old respectively, developed an anaphylactic reaction during a medical procedure. Two were under general anaesthesia and the third was undergoing urinary catheterisation. After allergy tests chlorhexidine, an ingredient in the gel which was used during the urinary catheterisation procedure, was found to be the causative agent in all three men. Following treatment the clinical course was good. Chlorhexidine is a widely used antiseptic and disinfectant. Despite multiple publications on anaphylactic reactions mostly during surgery under general anaesthesia or urological procedures, chlorhexidine is often initially overlooked as a cause of anaphylaxis. All three men had had previous reactions to chlorhexidine, however, not enough attention was paid to this fact, or it was not thought of.
Ned Tijdschr Geneeskd. 2007;151:2531-4