Occupational asthma in workers exposed to Mesalazine powder inhalation


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Inproceedings: an article in a conference proceedings.
Publication sub-type
Abstract (Abstract): shot summary in a article that contain essentials elements presented during a scientific conference, lecture or from a poster.
Occupational asthma in workers exposed to Mesalazine powder inhalation
Title of the conference
Joint Annual Meeting of the Swiss Respiratory Society, Swiss Society of Occupational Medicine, Swiss Paediatric Respiratory Society, Swiss Society for Thoracic Surgery, Davos (Switzerland), April 16/17, 2009
Praz-Christinaz Sophie, Chouanière Dominique, Regamey Frédéric, Danuser Brigitta, Sauty Alain
Publication state
Issued date
Swiss Medical Weekly
Background: Due to complains of respiratory symptoms of some employees a pharmaceutical company asked in 2008 the occupational medical department of the Institute for Work and Health in Lausanne to evaluate the health status of their workers exposed to Mesalazine powder, which is the active agent of a drug used for the treatment of bowels inflammation. Therefore we examined the 21 workers exposed to Mesalazine powder.
Method: After a visit of the pharmaceutical company in order to investigate the Mesalazine powder production, we performed an individual medical evaluation of the 21 workers. Our medical protocol was based on the safety data sheet of Mesalazine, the data found in the scientific literature and the «Compendium Suisse des Médicaments» and covered upper and lower respiratory tract as well as skin and eyes.
Results: Sixty two percent (62%) of the exposed employees had symptoms of skin, eyes and throat irritation. Three employees reported respiratory symptoms such as dyspnoea, cough and expiratory wheezing, which appeared during the working hours. The Peak Flow series performed at the workplace was lowered in the three employees with lower respiratory tract symptoms. None of the three had consulted a physician, even though the symptoms had been present since some months. The pneumological evaluation confirmed for all three cases the asthma diagnoses. Conclusion: It is known that patients who are treated with drugs including Mesalazine can develop adverse health effect such as asthma. However occupational asthma in workers exposed to Mesalazine powder inhalation is until now not described in the literature. Immunologic investigations in order to know if the occupational asthma caused by Mesalazine is of allergic or mechanical irritation nature are still ongoing. Concerning the three workers with asthma, inability to work with Mesalazine was pronounced. Furthermore, the SUVA recognized the three patients with asthma as occupational respiratory diseases. Following our results and recommendations, the company undertook some measures to reduce the exposure to Mesalazine. A new health evaluation of the employees in the Mesalazine production is hence planned in 2009. As each year new causes of occupational asthma are described, the possible work relation of new asthma onset has to be carefully investigated as the consequences for the patient e.g. removal from exposure and for the exposed co-workers are of substantial importance.
Asthma , Mesalamine , Occupational Exposure
Create date
27/01/2010 13:20
Last modification date
20/08/2019 15:57
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