Anaphylactic reactions after therapeutic injection of mistletoe (Viscum album L.)

Allergol Immunopathol (Madr). Sep-Oct 2001;29(5):201-3. doi: 10.1016/s0301-0546(01)79056-8.

Abstract

Mistletoe (Viscum album) is a plant that is semiparasitic of several trees: apple, oak, pine trees, etc. Because of the probable cytolytic action of one of the leaf's most abundant composites, in some countries mistletoe is used as a complementary medicine. Although only a few adverse reactions have been noted (cephalea, fever), cases of anaphylactic shock have been described. We present three cases of severe reaction after injection of mistletoe extract. Two of the patients had cancer. The third, whose brother had cancer, used the plant for preventive purposes. We discuss the danger of possible severe reactions due to the use of products employed in so-called alternative therapies.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / drug therapy
  • Adenocarcinoma / surgery
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anaphylaxis / chemically induced*
  • Anticarcinogenic Agents / administration & dosage
  • Anticarcinogenic Agents / adverse effects*
  • Anticarcinogenic Agents / immunology
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / administration & dosage
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / adverse effects*
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / immunology
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Drug Hypersensitivity / etiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin E / immunology
  • Intradermal Tests
  • Male
  • Multiple Sclerosis / drug therapy
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / drug therapy
  • Phytotherapy / adverse effects*
  • Plant Extracts / administration & dosage
  • Plant Extracts / adverse effects
  • Plant Extracts / immunology
  • Plant Preparations*
  • Plant Proteins*
  • Ribosome Inactivating Proteins, Type 2
  • Toxins, Biological / administration & dosage
  • Toxins, Biological / adverse effects*
  • Toxins, Biological / immunology
  • Uterine Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Uterine Neoplasms / surgery
  • Viscum / adverse effects*
  • Viscum / immunology

Substances

  • Anticarcinogenic Agents
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic
  • Plant Extracts
  • Plant Preparations
  • Plant Proteins
  • Ribosome Inactivating Proteins, Type 2
  • Toxins, Biological
  • ribosome inactivating protein, Viscum
  • Immunoglobulin E