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Sensitivity to Intravenous Anaesthetics: A Report of Three Cases

Br Med J 1974; 1 doi: (Published 12 January 1974) Cite this as: Br Med J 1974;1:63
  1. J. W. Dundee,
  2. E. S. K. Assem,
  3. J. M. Gaston,
  4. S. R. Keilty,
  5. J. A. Sutton,
  6. R. S. J. Clarke,
  7. D. Grainger


    Three patients with sensitivity to an intravenous anaesthetic—thiopentone, propanidid, and Althesin (alphadolone and alphaxalone)—are described. In the cases of thiopentone and Althesin the reaction was characterized by cardiovascular collapse, while bronchospasm also occurred with thiopentone. The reaction to propanidid was a direct skin sensitivity. All patients had a personal or family history of asthma and all had been previously exposed to the offending drug. A leucocyte challenge test showed an allergic response to thiopentone and Althesin in two patients but gave a negative result in the patient with the skin reaction. Allergic reactions can occur to all types of intravenous anaesthetics in a few patients.