Povidone or polyvinyl pyrrolidone is a polymer with a molecular weight ranging from 10000 to 700000, comparable to plasma proteins and used as excipient in topical, oral, and parenteral pharmaceutical products.
Clinical manifestations
General: anaphylactic shock
Cutaneous: urticaria, contact dermatitis.
Respiratory: asthma (hair spray).
Ocular: conjunctivitis (intraocular lenses).
E.N.T: rhinorrhea.
Diagnostic methods
Cutaneous testing.
Basophil degranulation test.
Histamine release test.
Provocation challenge.
Non specific histamine release.
IgE-mediated hypersensitivity.
Povidone 10 has been shown to be a potent activator of suppressor T-cells, whereas povidone 40 and 60 are able to activate B-cells.


  • Gonzalo Garijo M.A, Duran Quintana J.A, Bobadilla Gonzalez P, Maiquez Asuero P, "Anaphylactic shock following povidone", Ann. Pharmacother., 1996; 30 (1): 37-40
  • Moneret-Vautrin D.A, Mata E, Gerard H, Trechot M, "Allergie probable à la polyvidone, responsable d’un accident à un produit iodé de contraste: à propos d’un cas d’asthme après hysterosalpingographie", Allerg. Immunol. (Paris), 1989; 21: 196-9
  • Ameille J, Pages M.G, Capron F, Proteau J, Rochemaure J, "Pathologie respiratoire induite par l’inhalation de laque capillaire", Rev. Pneumol. Clin., 1985; 41: 325-30

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