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Levocetirizine: The latest treatment option for allergic rhinitis and chronic idiopathic urticaria

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Levocetirizine is the most recent antihistamine available in the United States and is indicated for the symptomatic treatment of allergic rhinitis (AR; seasonal [SAR] and perennial [PAR]) and chronic idiopathic urticaria (CIU). The purpose of this study was to review the current literature on pharmacologic properties of levocetirizine, its safety, tolerability, and effectiveness in AR and CIU. Relevant articles in English or with English abstracts were identified from systematic Medline searches using combinations of the terms antihistamine/s, CIU, H1-receptor antagonist/s, levocetirizine, PAR and persistent AR (PER), pharmacodynamic, pharmacokinetic, and SAR. Levocetirizine is the active enantiomer of cetirizine. Pharmacologic and clinical studies indicate that levocetirizine has a fast onset and long duration of action, with a well-tolerated adverse effect profile. These favorable features may be caused by levocetirizine's pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic properties including high bioavailability, low apparent volume of distribution, low degree of metabolism, and high in vivo potency and H1-receptor occupancy. Several large well-controlled clinical trials in adults and children aged 6–12 years have shown levocetirizine to be consistently efficacious and well tolerated in relieving the symptoms of SAR, PAR, and PER and CIU. Levocetirizine is a welcome new treatment option in the United States for symptomatic treatment of AR and CIU.
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Keywords: Antihistamines; chronic idiopathic urticaria; fast-acting; histamine H1-receptor antagonist; levocetirizine; long-acting; perennial allergic rhinitis; persistent allergic rhinitis; pharmacological profiles; seasonal allergic rhinitis

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Immunology Research Institute of New England, Gardner, MA

Publication date: 2007-11-01

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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