Published: December 2012

Patent Blue V - Anaphylaxis is a Risk

Prescriber Update 233(4): 38-39
December 2012

Patent Blue V dye has been associated with the occurrence of serious allergic reactions including anaphylaxis.

A recent investigation by the Breast Surgeons of Australia and New Zealand Incorporated indicated that the incidence of anaphylactic reactions of any severity associated with Patent Blue V is around 0.15%1. In this survey, the median onset time was reported as 20 minutes with a range of 0-90 minutes.

The Centre for Adverse Reactions Monitoring (CARM) has received a total of 36 reports of allergic reactions to Patent Blue V. Of the 36 reports, there were 11 reports of anaphylaxis or anaphylactic shock. In 31 cases, a positive skin test was also reported.

Reporting of these reactions is important to allow CARM to record a warning on the National Alert System for that patient.

Key Messages

  • Patients should be informed about the risk of allergic reactions to Patent Blue V during the consent process.
  • Emergency facilities should be available for up to 90 minutes after administration.
  • Reporting these reactions to CARM allows for a warning to be recorded on the National Alert System.
  1. Wong A, Spillane A. 2012. Patent Blue V dye anaphylaxis: experience of Australian and New Zealand surgeons. ANZ Journal of Surgery doi: 10.1111/j. 1445-2197.2012.06277.x