Non-Sedating Antihistamines

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Antihistamines are effective therapy against histamine-mediated conditions, including seasonal and perennial allergic rhinitis and chronic urticaria. They may also have a therapeutic role to play in asthma. Until recently all antihistamines produced some degree of drowsiness, as well as having anticholinergic side effects. Several non-sedating antihistamines have now been developed. Evidence suggests that their freedom from central nervous system effects is due to their lack of penetration of the blood-brain barrier. They also have no appreciable binding to cholinergic receptors. Two of these non-sedating antihistamines, terfenadine and astemizole, have novel binding characteristics with the histamine H1 receptor, exhibiting irreversible binding at higher concentrations. In humans astemizole has a remarkably long half-life of elimination, on the order of 12 to 18 days for metabolites. Clinical trials have demonstrated that these newer antihistamines are as effective as classical antihistamines and that they have no greater incidence of central nervous system or anticholinergic side effects than placebo.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: November 1, 1988

More about this publication?
  • Allergy and Asthma Proceedings is a peer reviewed publication dedicated to distributing timely scientific research regarding advancements in the knowledge and practice of allergy, asthma and immunology. Its primary readership consists of allergists and pulmonologists.

    The goal of the Proceedings is to publish articles with a predominantly clinical focus which directly impact quality of care for patients with allergic disease and asthma.

    Featured topics include asthma, rhinitis, sinusitis, food allergies, allergic skin diseases, diagnostic techniques, allergens, and treatment modalities. Published material includes peer-reviewed original research, clinical trials and review articles.

    Articles marked "F" offer free full text for personal noncommercial use only.

    The journal is indexed in Thomson Reuters Web of Science and Science Citation Index Expanded, plus the National Library of Medicine's PubMed service.
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