Active substances: Hydroxyzine
Prick tests and basophil activation tests were performed to several pharmacological and cosmetic products, but only those containing PEGs and their derivatives were positive.
Conclusions Standardization of the terminology used to describe the presence of PEGs in products would help patients to identify them clearly and unequivocally and thus avoid the development of hypersensitivity reactions.
It is also recommended studying PEG allergy in reactions to products containing PEGs, once allergy to the active ingredients has been excluded and in reactions to multiple unrelated drugs.
These polymers have numerous synonyms, such as macrogol, oxyethylene polymer, and laureth-9.
Since its development, PEG polymers held a reputation for safety, nevertheless from mild to life-threatening immediate-type hypersensitivity reactions have been reported, with clinical manifestations ranging from generalized urticaria to anaphylactic shock.
Awareness about the allergenic potential of these polymers is minimal due to the non-standardization of their nomenclature, inadequate labelling of products containing PEGs, and the lack of suspicion as the agents responsible of such reactions.
Case presentation We present the case of a 29-years-old woman with history of atopic eczema and contact dermatitis by nickel sulfate, subclinical sensitization to mites and cypress, and cholinergic urticaria.
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