Asthma caused by piperazine

  • Chemist
  • Pharmaceutical industry
  • Veterinary surgeon
Piperazine, Piperazine dichlorohydrate.
Incidence: low - only a few cases have been described.
Atopy does not appear to play an important role.
No immunological mechanism has been demonstrated to date.
Workers engaged in production of the compounds are the most frequently exposed, however, veterinary staff can also have significant levels of exposure (preparation of large quantities of purgatives).
Asthma symptoms appear several hours after initial exposure to the risk, often during the night following contact. Rhinitis is often associated.
Diagnostic methods
Skin prick test: 100 mg/ml (always negative).
Bronchial provocation test (in hospital) with lactose 4 mg/kg


  1. Am. J. Ind. Med. 1984,6:347
  2. J. Occ. Méd. 1982,24:193
  3. Clin. Allergy 1972,2:189
  4. Br. J. Ind. Med. 1968,25:319

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