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Ranitidine (150 mg daily) inhibits wheal, flare, and itching reactions in skin-prick tests

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H1-receptor antagonists are known to suppress reactions in skin-prick tests (SPTs); however, the effect of H2-receptor antagonists, which are widely used in our everyday practice, remains unclear. The aim of this study was to determine the influence of ranitidine on wheal, flare, and itching sensation in SPTs. Twenty-one atopic patients (5 women and 16 men) with an average age of 28.04 years (SD, ±8.24) were tested with histamine, codeine, negative control solution, and standard allergen extracts. Ranitidine (150 mg daily), loratadine (10 mg daily), or placebo were given to the volunteers for 5 days in a double-blind manner with 14 days of washout period. SPTs were applied to the volar surface of a forearm. There was no difference in wheal, flare, and itching between SPTs performed after placebo and washout period. The analysis revealed a statistically significant suppression of wheal and flare by ranitidine and loratadine (p = 0.013 and <0.00001, respectively, for wheals after allergens solutions tests, Wilcoxon rank-sum test). We found a significant suppression of itching induced by ranitidine (reduction of 26.85%; p = 0.005) and loratadine (29.6%; p = 0.005) as compared with placebo (p = 0.068 versus washout). Our data show a suppressive effect of ranitidine on the wheal, flare, and itching sensation in SPT. Because the sensitivity and specificity of skin testing requires withholding medication that could change the skin reactivity, it seems important to take into account the possible influence of H2-receptor antagonists on allergy diagnosis and therapy.

Keywords: Allergy; H2 receptor; IgE; allergy skin test; histamine antagonist; ranitidine; skin-prick tests; wheal and flare

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Pneumonology and Allergology, Medical University of Lodz, Lodz, Poland

Publication date: November 1, 2007

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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