Preservative with hypnotic, sedative, antiseptic and anesthetic properties used in many externally applied products as well as in drugs (vasopressin, heparin, oxytocin).
Uncommon. One death reported.
Clinical manifestations
General: anaphylactic shock.
Cutaneous: pruritus, maculopapular eruption.
Diagnostic methods
Cutaneous testing.
  • Intradermal skin-tests using chlorobutanol at 0.5%. One positive result was reported in a patient with a maculopapular eruption.
  • One positive scratch test in a patient with anaphylactic shock.
Intravenous challenge with chlorobutanol was positive in a patient 5 minutes after 1 ml of 1/1000 chlorobutanol solution.
Avoid use of drugs containing this preservative.


  1. Maycock E.J, Russell W.C, "Anaphylactoid reaction to Syntocinon*", Anaesth. Intensive. Care., 1993; 21 (2): 211-2
  2. Hofman H, Goerz G, Plewig G, "Anaphylactic shock from chlorobutanol-preserved oxytocin", Contact Dermatitis, 1986; 15 (4): 241-2
  3. Slater R.M, Bowles B.J.M, R, Pumphrey R.S.H, "Anaphylactoid reaction to oxytocin in pregnancy", Anaesthesia, 1985; 40: 655-6
  4. Itabashi A, Katayama S, Yamaji T, "Hypersensitivity to chlorobutanol in DDAVP solution", Lancet, 1982; 1 (8263): 108
  5. Dux S, Pitlik S,Perry G, Rosenfeld J.B, "Hypersensitivity reaction to chlorbutol-preserved heparin", Lancet, 1981 1 (8212):149.

As in all diagnostic testing, the diagnosis is made by the physican based on both test results and the patient history.