Journal Article

Variant Effect of First- and Second-Generation Antihistamines as Clues to Their Mechanism of Action on the Sneeze Reflex in the Common Cold

Philipp S. Muether and Jack M. Gwaltney

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 33, issue 9, pages 1483-1488
Published in print November 2001 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online November 2001 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/322518
Variant Effect of First- and Second-Generation Antihistamines as Clues to Their Mechanism of Action on the Sneeze Reflex in the Common Cold

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Treatment with first-generation antihistamines reduces sneezing, rhinorrhea, nasal mucus weight, and, in some instances, cough in subjects with experimental or natural colds; however, treatment with second-generation antihistamines has not been effective for these complaints in trials in subjects with natural colds. This article reports the negative results of a clinical trial with loratadine, a second-generation antihistamine, in adults in the rhinovirus challenge model. This finding in the highly controlled setting of the challenge model confirms the earlier negative studies with second-generation antihistamines in natural colds. First-generation antihistamines block both histaminic and muscarinic receptors as well as passing the blood-brain barrier. Second-generation antihistamines mainly block histaminic receptors and do not pass the blood-brain barrier. The effectiveness of first-generation antihistamines in blocking sneezing in colds may be due primarily to neuropharmacological manipulation of histaminic and muscarinic receptors in the medulla.

Journal Article.  3627 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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