Reported Adverse Drug Reaction Cases
Lignocaine with chlorhexidine gel and anaphylaxis
Lignocaine 2% gel with chlorhexidine 0.05% is an anaesthetic/antiseptic/disinfectant combination used as a lubricant for urology procedures and examination, and as symptomatic treatment of painful urethritis.
Since 1990, the TGA has received 19 reports of suspected adverse reactions to lignocaine with chlorhexidine gel. Eleven of these were of anaphylaxis. Some were life threatening, but there have been no fatalities. Four reports of anaphylaxis were received recently, from differing sources over a one month period. One of the patients was known to be allergic to chlorhexidine but the anaesthetist was not aware that the anaesthetic gel contained this substance.
The PI warns of the potential for anaphylaxis or other hypersensitivity reactions with both lignocaine and chlorhexidine. Users of local anaesthetic preparations should check which products contain chlorhexidine and are reminded of the risk of severe allergic reactions to medicines, even when applied topically.
Australian Adverse Drug Reactions Bulletin
Volume 28, Number 2, April 2009