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Allergy. 2002 Jun;57(6):534-7.

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

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Department of Dermatology, Tampere University Hospital and University of Tampere, Finland.



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.


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.


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.


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.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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