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J Allergy Clin Immunol. 1990 Mar;85(3):632-41.

Effects of oral cetirizine, a selective H1 antagonist, on allergen- and exercise-induced bronchoconstriction in subjects with asthma.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, University of California-Los Angeles Medical Center 90024-1690.


The protective efficacy of oral cetirizine, a selective and potent H1-receptor antagonist, against the immediate bronchoconstrictive response to allergen inhalation and exercise challenge was evaluated in 16 subjects with stable, predominantly mild asthma. The subjects underwent double-blind, crossover pretreatments in randomized order in two separate protocols with (1) three daily oral doses of 20 mg of cetirizine and placebo, followed by allergen inhalation, and (2) single oral doses of cetirizine (5, 10, and 20 mg), albuterol (4 mg), and placebo, followed by exercise with cold-air inhalation. Cetirizine failed to decrease bronchial sensitivity to inhaled allergen in eight of 10 subjects. Neither cetirizine nor albuterol uniformly inhibited exercise-induced bronchoconstriction. Serum concentrations of cetirizine were consistent with systemic H1-blocking activity. Modest bronchodilation occurred after administration of cetirizine and albuterol before exercise but not after the third dose of cetirizine in the allergen protocol. One subject developed moderate drowsiness during multiple dosing with cetirizine. Thus, cetirizine, in the doses studied, is not uniformly effective in preventing allergen- or exercise-induced bronchoconstriction. Histamine is one of many mediators participating in immediate asthmatic responses, and selective H1 antagonists do not completely block these airway events. However, cetirizine may still clinically benefit some patients with asthma, such as patients with allergic rhinitis or urticaria.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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