Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:

Practice 10-minute consultation

Preventing development of allergic disorders in children

BMJ 2006; 333 doi: (Published 31 August 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;333:485

Rapid Response:

Avoiding Adjuvants & Excipients Can Avoid Allergies

Dear Sirs,

development of allergic disorders in children

BMJ 2006;333:485 (2 September),

Regarding their
ten minute consultation, it might assist Chantelle
Anandan, research fellow and Aziz Sheikh, professor of primary care
research and development, University of Edinburgh to investigate what
causes the body to be in a condition in which it responds with a
reaction to allergens. It is trite that allergens are not
allergens if the body did not react to them. It is also trite
that avoidance of the causes of sensitisation will avoid sensitisation.

Whilst there is
very a little in the evidence-based literature, it is
well-known in
manufacturing circles that adjuvants cause allergies.
As biotech company Biovant's CEO, Steve Simes said on the
launch of their new adjuvant:-

problem with most adjuvants is that they can cause
said Simes. "Ours might not be as potent as others, but it is safer.

By Val
Brickates Kennedy
, MarketWatch

Last Update: 3:45 PM ET Apr 24, 2006

excipients are also known to cause sensitisation reactions and
hypersensitivity is a contraindication [2]

If, in
preparation for the ten minute consultation, Chantelle
Anandan and Aziz Sheikh would research the
evidence base on the risk of serious adverse effects with
the risks of avoidance of adjuvants and excipients as one of the causes
sensitisation, the decision on best practice is a simple one.
Regrettably, their search will be difficult and tenacity is needed as I
have found when reseaching these issues. As Dr Tom Jefferson said
when head of the vaccine division of the Cochrane Collaboration and
board member of the European Programme for Improved Vaccine Safety
Surveillance Jefferson said [1] "There
is some good research, but it
is overwhelmed by the bad. …. there was a "dearth" of sound
studies on the risks and benefits.”

But there
evidence. If they care to contact me I may be able to assist
their searches. Contact details can be found here:-

[1] Vaccines
expert warns studies are useless
The Telegraph
(London, England - Filed: 27/10/2002 - Lorraine
Fraser - Accessed 10 Sept 2006)

[2] SPC
& PL Wording for Use of Thiomersal in Medicinal Products With
Regard to Sensitisation As Agreed by the Chmp in February 2006
- Committee for
Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) CPMP/2612/99

Competing interests:
None declared

Competing interests: No competing interests

10 September 2006
Clifford G. Miller
Commercial lawyer, graduate physicist, former university lecturer in law