Multiple double blind placebo controlled challenges with tartrazine 50 mg (three challenges) and glucose placebo (three challenges) were performed in 12 children with atopic eczema aged 1 to 6 years. The children were selected on the basis of severity (regular clinic attenders) and a parental history that tartrazine provoked worsening of the eczema. In only one patient did the three tartrazine challenge periods correspond with the highest symptom scores or the highest physician observer scores, and the probability of this occurring by chance in one or more patients out of 12 was 0.46. In this sample we were unable to confirm intolerance to tartrazine in 11 out of 12 patients.
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