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Comparison of cetirizine, ebastine and loratadine in the treatment of immediate mosquito-bite allergy

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People frequently experience whealing and delayed papules from mosquito bites. Whealing is mediated by antisaliva immunoglobulin (Ig)E antibodies and histamine. Cetirizine, ebastine and loratadine have earlier shown effects on mosquito-bite reactions but no comparative studies exist. Methods: 

A double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over study was performed with cetirizine 10 mg, ebastine 10 mg and loratadine 10 mg in 29 mosquito-bite-sensitive adults exposed to Aedes aegypti mosquito-bites. The size of the bite lesion and the intensity of pruritus (visual analog scale) were measured at 15 min and 2, 6 and 24 h. Results: 

Cetirizine and ebastine, but not loratadine, decreased significantly the size of whealing (P < 0.01) and accompanying pruritus (P < 0.001) compared to placebo. Cetirizine was most effective on pruritus but caused more often sedation than ebastine or loratadine. The delayed bite symptoms remained too faint for any statistical comparison. Conclusion: 

This comparative study in mosquito-bite-sensitive adults shows that cetirizine and ebastine decrease significantly whealing and accompanying pruritus, and that cetirizine seems to be the most effective against pruritus.
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Keywords: Aedes mosquitoes; allergy; antihistamines; pruritus; whealing

Document Type: Short Communication

Affiliations: 1: Department of Dermatology, Tampere University Hospital and University of Tampere, 2: Rheumatism Foundation Hospital, Heinola, 3: University Hospital for Skin and Allergic Diseases, Helsinki, Finland

Publication date: June 1, 2002

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