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Is Propofol Safe for People with Egg Allergies?

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Updated February 28, 2011

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

Question: Is Propofol Safe for People with Egg Allergies?
Answer:

Propofol (marketed under the brand name Diprivan) is a drug used during surgery for anesthesia. If you have Ig-E mediated food allergies, you are at a higher risk of having an allergic reaction to propofol during surgery.

Propofol contains soybean oil and egg lecithin. The drug insert states that propofol is contraindicated for people with allergies to any of the ingredients of the drug.

However, propofol is thought to be safe for people with egg allergies. In a small study, 25 patients with egg allergies were given skin-prick tests to propofol and all of the tests were negative.

Depending on the severity and type of reaction that you have to eggs, your doctor may choose to use a different anesthetic for your surgery. Even though propofol is thought to be safe for people with a history of anaphylaxis to eggs, doctors may err on the side of caution.

Sources:

Diprivan 1%. Diprivan Monograph provided by drug maker AstraZeneca. August, 2005. Accessed Feb 27, 2011.

Hepner, D.L., MD and M.C. Castells, MD PhD. Anaphylaxis During the Perioperative Period. Anesthesia and Analgesia. Nov 2003. Vol. 97 No. 5

Hofer, K. et al. Possible anaphylaxis after propofol in a child with food allergy. Annals of Pharmacotherapy. 37(3):398-401, 2003.

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