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Pharmacology of antihistamines — considerations for Prescribing

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Antihistamines are recommended for the management of urticaria and atopic eczema in key dermatology guidelines: The British Association of Dermatologists (BAD) Guidelines for evaluation and management of urticaria in adults and children (Grattan, Humphreys, 2007); the European position paper on the management of urticaria (Zuberbier et al, 2009), and NICE guidelines for atopic eczema in children under 12 years of age (NICE, 2007). Several different antihistamines are suggested and the prescribing decision will be based on clinical presentation, guidelines and the different generations of antihistamines available. In this article the pharmacology of antihistamines is presented, including a general revision of basic pharmacology. Several different generations of antihistamines have been discussed in terms of the pharmacokinetics that influence side-effects and interactions.
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Keywords: ANTIHISTAMINES; BLOOD-BRAIN BARRIER; INTERACTIONS; PHARMACOLOGY; PRESCRIBING CONSIDERATIONS; SIDE-EFFECTS

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2015

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  • Dermatological Nursing is the quarterly, peer-reviewed journal of the British Dermatological Nursing Group (BDNG) and the UK's only quality dermatological nursing journal. It aims to provide cutting-edge articles on the treatment and management of dermatological conditions and the care of patients with skin problems. While the focus is on dermatological nursing, the information included is relevant to other healthcare professionals.
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