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(1/98) Risk of ventricular arrhythmias associated with nonsedating antihistamine drugs.

AIMS: To quantify and compare the incidence of ventricular arrhythniias associated with the use of five nonsedating antihistamines: acrivastine, astemizole, cetirizine, loratadine and terfenadine. The effects of age, sex, dose, duration of treatment, and the interaction with P450 inhibitor drugs were also examined. METHODS: We carried out a cohort study with a nested case-control analysis using the UK-based General Practice Research database (GPRD). The study cohort included persons aged less than 80 years old who received their first prescription for any of the five study drugs between January 1, 1992 and September 30, 1996. We estimated relative risks and 95% confidence intervals of idiopathic ventricular arrhythmias with current use of antihistamines as compared with non use. RESULTS: The study cohort included 197425 persons who received 513012 prescriptions. Over the study period 18 valid cases of idiopathic ventricular arrhythmias were detected. Nine occurred during the current use of any antihistamine, resulting in a crude incidence of 1.9 per 10000 person-years (95%CI: 1.0-3.6) and a relative risk of 4.2 (95%CI: 1.5-11.8) as compared with non use. Astemizole presented the highest relative risk (RR= 19.0; 95%CI: 4.8-76.0) of all study drugs, while terfenadine (RR=2.1; 95%CI:0.5-8.5) was in the range of other nonsedating antihistamines. Older age was associated with a greater risk of ventricular arrhythmias (RR=7.4; 95%CI: 2.6-21.4) and seemed to increase the effect of antihistamines (RR=6.4; 95%CI: 1.7-24.8). The proportions of high dose terfenadine and the concomitant use with P450 inhibitors among current users of terfenadine were 2.7% and 3.4%, respectively over the study period with no single case of ventricular arrhythmias occurring in the presence of these two risk factors. CONCLUSIONS: The use of nonsedating antihistamines increases the risk of ventricular arrhythmias by a factor of four in the general population. Yet, the absolute effect is quite low requiring 57000 prescriptions, or 5300 person-years of use for one case to occur. The risk associated with terfenadine was no different from that with other nonsedating antihistamines.  (+info)

(2/98) Histamine response and local cooling in the human skin: involvement of H1- and H2-receptors.

AIMS: Histamine may contribute locally to cutaneous blood flow control under normal and pathologic conditions. The objective of this study was to observe the influence of skin temperature on histamine vasodilation, and the roles of H1-and H2-receptors using novel noninvasive methods. METHODS: Eleven healthy subjects received, double-blind, single doses of the H1-receptor antagonist cetirizine (10 mg), cetirizine (10 mg) plus the H2-receptor antagonist cimetidine (400 mg), or placebo on separate occasions. Histamine was dosed cumulatively by iontophoresis to the forearm skin at 34 degrees C and 14 degrees C. Laser-Doppler flux (LDF) was measured at the same sites using customised probeholder/iontophoretic chambers with Peltier cooling elements. Finger mean arterial pressure (MAP) was measured and cutaneous vascular conductance calculated as LDF/MAP. RESULTS: Histamine vasodilation was reduced in cold skin. Cetirizine shifted the histamine dose-response at both temperatures: statistically significantly at 14 degrees C only. Combined H1- and H2-receptor antagonism shifted the response significantly at both temperatures. CONCLUSIONS: H1- and H2-receptors mediate histamine-induced skin vasodilation. The sensitivity of these receptors, particularly the H1- receptor, is attenuated at low skin temperature. Whether the reduced effect in cold skin represents specific receptor or postreceptor desensitization, or nonspecific attenuation of cutaneous vasodilation remains to be elucidated.  (+info)

(3/98) Mutational analysis of the antagonist-binding site of the histamine H(1) receptor.

We combined in a previously derived three-dimensional model of the histamine H(1) receptor (Ter Laak, A. M., Timmerman, H., Leurs, H., Nederkoorn, P. H. J., Smit, M. J., and Donne-Op den Kelder, G. M. (1995) J. Comp. Aid. Mol. Design. 9, 319-330) a pharmacophore for the H(1) antagonist binding site (Ter Laak, A. M., Venhorst, J., Timmerman, H., and Donne-Op de Kelder, G. M. (1994) J. Med. Chem. 38, 3351-3360) with the known interacting amino acid residue Asp(116) (in transmembrane domain III) of the H(1) receptor and verified the predicted receptor-ligand interactions by site-directed mutagenesis. This resulted in the identification of the aromatic amino acids Trp(167), Phe(433), and Phe(436) in transmembrane domains IV and VI of the H(1) receptor as probable interaction points for the trans-aromatic ring of the H(1) antagonists. Subsequently, a specific interaction of carboxylate moieties of two therapeutically important, zwitterionic H(1) antagonists with Lys(200) in transmembrane domain V was predicted. A Lys(200) --> Ala mutation results in a 50- (acrivastine) to 8-fold (d-cetirizine) loss of affinity of these zwitterionic antagonists. In contrast, the affinities of structural analogs of acrivastine and cetirizine lacking the carboxylate group, triprolidine and meclozine, respectively, are unaffected by the Lys(200) --> Ala mutation. These data strongly suggest that Lys(200), unique for the H(1) receptor, acts as a specific anchor point for these "second generation" H(1) antagonists.  (+info)

(4/98) Sedation with "non-sedating" antihistamines: four prescription-event monitoring studies in general practice.

OBJECTIVES: To investigate the frequency with which sedation was reported in post-marketing surveillance studies of four second generation antihistamines: loratadine, cetirizine, fexofenadine, and acrivastine. DESIGN: Prescription-event monitoring studies. SETTING: Prescriptions were obtained for each cohort in the immediate post-marketing period. SUBJECTS: Event data were obtained for a total of 43 363 patients. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Reporting of sedation or drowsiness. RESULTS: The odds ratios (adjusted for age and sex) for the incidence of sedation were 0.63 (95% confidence interval 0.36 to 1.11; P=0.1) for fexofenadine; 2.79 (1.69 to 4.58; P<0.0001) for acrivastine, and 3.53 (2.07 to 5.42; P<0.0001) for cetirizine compared with loratadine. No increased risk of accident or injury was evident with any of the four drugs. CONCLUSIONS: Although the risk of sedation was low with all four drugs, fexofenadine and loratadine may be more appropriate for people working in safety critical jobs.  (+info)

(5/98) Pharmacological blockade of ERG K(+) channels and Ca(2+) influx through store-operated channels exerts opposite effects on intracellular Ca(2+) oscillations in pituitary GH(3) cells.

In the present study, the effects on intracellular calcium concentration ([Ca(2+)](i)) oscillations of the blockade of ether-a-go-go-related gene (ERG) K(+) channels and of Ca(2+) influx through store-operated channels (SOC) activated by [Ca(2+)](i) store depletion have been studied in GH(3) cells by means of a combination of single-cell fura-2 microfluorimetry and whole-cell mode of the patch-clamp technique. Nanomolar concentrations (1-30 nM) of the piperidinic second-generation antihistamines terfenadine and astemizole and of the class III antiarrhythmic methanesulfonanilide dofetilide, by blocking ERG K(+) channels, increased the frequency and the amplitude of [Ca(2+)](i) oscillations in resting oscillating GH(3) cells. These compounds also induced the appearance of an oscillatory pattern of [Ca(2+)](i) in a subpopulation of nonoscillating GH(3) cells. The effects of ERG K(+) channel blockade on [Ca(2+)](i) oscillations appeared to be due to the activation of L-type Ca(2+) channels, because they were prevented by 300 nM nimodipine. By contrast, the piperazinic second-generation antihistamine cetirizine (0.01-30 microM), which served as a negative control, failed to affect ERG K(+) channels and did not interfere with [Ca(2+)](i) oscillations in GH(3) cells. Interestingly, micromolar concentrations of terfenadine and astemizole (0.3-30 microM), but not of dofetilide (10-100 microM), produced an inhibition of the spontaneous oscillatory pattern of [Ca(2+)](i) changes. This effect was possibly related to an inhibition of SOC, because these compounds inhibited the increase of [Ca(2+)](i) achieved by extracellular calcium reintroduction after intracellular calcium store depletion with the sarcoplasmic or endoplasmic reticulum calcium ATPase pump inhibitor thapsigargin (10 microM) in an extracellular calcium-free medium. The same inhibitory effect on [Ca(2+)](i) oscillations and SOC was observed with the first-generation antihistamine hydroxyzine (1-30 microM), the more hydrophobic metabolic precursor of cetirizine. Collectively, the results of the present study obtained with compounds that interfere in a different concentration range with ERG K(+) channels or SOC suggest that 1) ERG K(+) channels play a relevant role in controlling the oscillatory pattern of [Ca(2+)](i) in resting GH(3) cells and 2) the inhibition of SOC might induce an opposite effect, i.e., an inhibition of [Ca(2+)](i) oscillations.  (+info)

(6/98) Determination of cetirizine dichloride in tablets by HPLC method.

A HPLC method for the determination of the cetirizine dichloride in tablets was developed and validated. The determination was performed with a LiChrosorb RP-18 column, mobile phase of KH2PO4 (0.01 mol/l)--acetonitrile 65:35 (v/v), flow rate: 2 ml.min-1, UV detection at 230 nm and methyl paraben as an internal standard.  (+info)

(7/98) Stability of cetirizine dihydrochloride in solid state.

Influence of temperature and relative humidity on stability of cetirizine dihydrochloride in solid state was followed by HPLC method in this study.  (+info)

(8/98) A descriptive analysis of the use and cost of new-generation antihistamines in the treatment of allergic rhinitis: a retrospective database analysis.

OBJECTIVE: This retrospective database analysis was conducted to evaluate the use and cost of new-generation antihistamines (i.e., those that are nonsedating) in the treatment of allergic rhinitis in a managed care population. STUDY DESIGN: The study is a retrospective database review of medical and pharmacy-related claims linked by episodes of care. METHODS: Patients who had been diagnosed as having allergic rhinitis and had at least 1 prescription claim were identified from a database containing patient-level medical and pharmacy-related claims. The treatment patterns of patients with allergic rhinitis who met the study criteria were documented for a 12-month period in which the use of nonsedating antihistamines was described and the associated costs of various medications were assessed. Subanalyses of patients categorized by comorbidity status were also performed. RESULTS: A total of 202,426 patients participated in the study. Nonsedating antihistamines were used by 71% of the patients; the most commonly prescribed drugs were loratadine and fexofenadine. The mean annual charges per patient for the treatment of allergic rhinitis in the study population were $465.21 (standard deviation [SD], 548). The greatest departmental cost was that of pharmacy-related charges (mean, $236.02; SD, 233); the next highest cost was that of outpatient charges (mean, $216.31; SD, 396). Comparisons of departmental charges indicated the use of loratadine was associated with significantly higher treatment costs than that of fexofenadine in a number of patient subgroups. CONCLUSION: In this analysis, loratadine was associated with significantly higher treatment charges than was fexofenadine. This result was observed consistently across different stratifications of patients, including the presence of comorbid respiratory infection, concomitant use of nasal steroids, and the presence of asthma and/or sinusitis. These results provided useful insights into the differential costs associated with the use of nonsedating antihistamines in the treatment of rhinitis.  (+info)