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Provocation of Bronchospasm by Eye Drops

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Maryland General Hospital, Baltimore, Maryland

Ann Intern Med. 1978;88(3):362. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-88-3-362
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The importance of obtaining a thorough drug history cannot be overemphasized. Patients often do not regard eye drops as "medication" and omit this information from the history. Moreover, the physician may be given the information only to disregard it as irrelevant. Some topical eye preparations may be absorbed into the systemic circulation and cause potentially dangerous reactions. We present here the case of a patient with unexpected refractory bronchospasm that we could not control until a topical ophthalmic preparation was discontinued.

A 60-year-old woman was admitted to the hospital with progressive shortness of breath and wheezing. There was a prolonged


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