Asthma caused by pysllium

  • Medical personnel
  • Nurse
  • Pharmaceutical industry
Ispaghule, Pysllium.
Incidence: 3.6 to 27.9% of subjects working in the factory. However, there is a lower incidence for those working in health care.
Atopy plays an important role.
IgE-dependent mechanism.
Certain researchers report a cross reactivity with the common plantain. The use of psyllium as a pill rather than a powder has reduced the number of cases under medical care.
Pysllium is a popular laxative. The allergen is obtained from plantain (plantago ovata). It is also known as ispaghula.
Asthma, conjunctivitis, urticaria and angio-oedema. In the case of ingestion by a sensitized subject generalised anaphylactic reaction may occur as well as asthma.
Diagnostic methods
Skin prick test and immunological assay RAST/CAP RAST.
A bronchial provocation test (in hospital) may be dangerous but is definitive.


  1. Am. Rev. Resp. Dis. 1990,142:1359
  2. J. Occ. Med. 1987,29:497
  3. Lancet 1985,8435:965
  4. Clin. Allergy 1987,71:1
  5. Am. Rev. Respir. Dis. 1987,135:1033
  6. Allergy Copenh. 1979,34:51
  7. Ann. Allergy 1982,48:294
  8. Allergy 1984,39:65
  9. Allergy 1983,38:363
  10. Allergy 1983,38:141

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