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Levocetirizine: An Update

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Histamine plays a prominent and diverse role in the pathophysiology of allergic disease and therapeutic intervention is therefore typically focused on blocking the effects of this biogenic amine. A new antihistamine, levocetirizine, is the R-enantiomer of cetirizine dihydrochloride and like its parent compound undergoes minimal hepatic metabolism. Levocetirizine has pharmacodynamically and pharmacokinetically favourable characteristics, including high bioavailability, rapid onset of action, limited distribution and a low degree of metabolism. Clinical trials indicate that it is safe and effective for the treatment of allergic rhinitis and chronic urticaria with a minimal number of untoward effects. Furthermore, several recent studies have demonstrated that, in addition to its being a potent antihistamine, levocetirizine has several anti-inflammatory effects that are observed at clinically relevant concentrations that may enhance its therapeutic benefit.
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Keywords: Levocetirizine; allergy; anti-inflammatory; antihistamine

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Medicine and Therapeutics, School of Medicine, Institute of Medical Sciences,University of Aberdeen, Foresterhill, Aberdeen AB25 2ZD, UK.

Publication date: 2006-09-01

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