Antihistamines, systemic

Author: Prof. Dr. med. Peter Altmeyer

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Last updated on: 29.10.2020

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Histamine antagonists; Histamine receptor antagonists; Histamine receptor blocker

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Drugs that prevent or attenuate the histamine effect in allergic reactions by an antagonism at the histamine receptor or have a comparable antihistaminic effect:

Pharmacodynamics (Effect)
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Competitive antagonism at the H1 receptor: leads to relaxation of the vascular muscles, reduction of vascular permeability and attenuation of itching.

Dosage and method of use
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The dosages are recommended according to the manufacturer's instructions. In general clinical applications and smaller studies in chronic therapy-resistant chronic urticaria as well as in pruritus sine materia, antihistaminic high-dose chemistries in monotherapy with desloratadine (4-fold standard therapy), in double or triple combination therapies with levocetericin/exofenadine, levocetericin/exofenadin/azelastine (double dose in each case) proved to be significantly more successful than standard dosed monotherapy.

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Cave! Astemizole and terfenadine have now been withdrawn from the market in some countries due to cardiac side effects (torsade-de-pointes arrhythmias).

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  1. del Cuvillo A et al (2006) Comparative pharmacology of the H1 antihistamines. J Invest Allergol Clin Immunol 16: 3-12
  2. Schulz S et al (2009) Antipruritic efficacy of a high-dose antihistamine therapy. Dermatologist 60: 564-568


Last updated on: 29.10.2020