Reactions to thimerosal in hepatitis B vaccines

Dermatol Clin. 1990 Jan;8(1):161-4.


Hypersensitivity to thimerosal in vaccines has been reported to induce persistent local reactions, urticarial and generalized exanthematic eruptions, and, in the case of the hepatitis B vaccine, urticaria with asthma. The authors describe two cases of extensive reactions, one in a patient who did not form antibodies to the principal vaccine antigen. Although not all thimerosal-sensitive patients develop adverse reactions to vaccines containing this material, there is a potential risk, and the reactions can be very long lasting.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biopsy
  • Dermatitis, Contact / etiology
  • Dermatitis, Contact / pathology
  • Ethylmercury Compounds / adverse effects*
  • Hepatitis B Vaccines
  • Humans
  • Hypersensitivity, Delayed / etiology
  • Hypersensitivity, Delayed / pathology
  • Male
  • Patch Tests / methods
  • Thimerosal / adverse effects*
  • Thimerosal / immunology
  • Viral Hepatitis Vaccines / adverse effects*
  • Viral Hepatitis Vaccines / immunology


  • Ethylmercury Compounds
  • Hepatitis B Vaccines
  • Viral Hepatitis Vaccines
  • Thimerosal