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J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2003 Jun;111(6):1244-8.

Safety of cetirizine in infants 6 to 11 months of age: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study.

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Section of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, Department of Pediatrics and Child Health, Faculty of Medicine, The University of Manitoba, 820 Sherbrook Street, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada R3A 1R9.



H(1)-antihistamines are widely used for symptom relief in allergic disorders in infants and children; however, there are few prospective, randomized, double-blind, controlled studies of these medications in young children, and to date, no such studies have been conducted in infants.


This prospective, randomized, parallel-group, double-blind, placebo-controlled study was designed to evaluate the safety of the H(1)-antihistamine cetirizine, particularly with regard to central nervous system and cardiac effects, in infants age 6 to 11 months, inclusive.


Infants who met the entry criteria for age and had a history of treatment with an H(1)-antihistamine for an allergic or other disorder were randomized to receive 0.25 mg/kg cetirizine orally or matching placebo twice daily orally for 1 week.


The mean daily dose in cetirizine-treated infants was 4.5 +/- 0.7 mg (SD). No differences in all-cause or treatment-related adverse events were observed between the cetirizine- and placebo-treated groups. A trend was observed toward fewer adverse events and sleep-related disturbances in the cetirizine group compared with the placebo group. No prolongation in the linear corrected QT interval was observed in cetirizine-treated infants compared with either baseline values or with values in placebo-treated infants.


We have documented the safety of cetirizine in this short-term investigation, the first randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of any H(1)-antihistamine in infants. Additional prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, long-term studies of cetirizine and other H(1)-antihistamines are needed in this population.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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