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Safety and tolerability of levocetirizine dihydrochloride in infants and children with allergic rhinitis or chronic urticaria

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Allergic rhinitis (AR) and chronic idiopathic urticaria (CIU) are common causes of substantial illness and disability in preschool children. Antihistamines are commonly used to treat preschool children with these conditions, but their use is based mostly on extrapolated efficacy from adult populations; it is thus important to characterize the safety of antihistamines in the pediatric population. This study was designed to assess the safety of levocetirizine dihydrochloride oral liquid drops in infants and children with AR or CIU. Two multicenter, double-blind, randomized, parallel-group studies randomized infants aged 6‐11 months (study 1, n = 69) and children aged 1‐5 years (study 2, n = 173) to levocetirizine, 1.25 mg (q.d. or b.i.d., respectively), or placebo for 2 weeks, using a 2:1 ratio. Safety evaluations included treatment-emergent adverse events (TEAEs), vital signs, electrocardiographic (ECG) assessments, and laboratory tests. The overall incidence of TEAEs was similar between levocetirizine and placebo in both studies. Most TEAEs were mild or moderate in intensity. TEAEs prompted discontinuation of therapy in three patients receiving levocetirizine in study 1. No clinically relevant changes from baseline in vital signs or laboratory parameters were apparent in either study; changes from baseline in these evaluations were similar between groups. No significant changes were observed in ECG parameters, including corrected QT interval. Levocetirizine, 1.25 and 2.5 mg/day, was well tolerated in infants aged 6‐11 months and in children aged 1‐5 years, respectively, with AR or CIU.

Keywords: Children; H1-antihistamines; drug toxicities; hay fever; histamine H1-antagonists; levocetirizine; perennial allergic rhinitis; pollen allergy; safety; seasonal allergic rhinitis; urticaria

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Central Texas Health Research, 705-A Landa Street, New Braunfels, TX 78130, USA. 2: Sylvana Research Associates, San Antonio, Texas 3: UCB, Inc., Smyrna, Georgia

Publication date: July 1, 2010

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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