oa SA Pharmacist's Assistant - Taking antihistamines : medicine cupboard

Volume 8, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 1608-9634
  • E-ISSN: 2220-1068



Antihistamines comprise a broad class of medicines that include the first-generation, centrally-acting, H1-receptor antagonists (e.g. chlorpheniramine, diphenhydramine) and the newer, second-generation, non-sedating, H1-receptor antagonists (e.g. loratadine, cetirizine). Other antihistamines, such as cimetidine or ranitidine, work on the H2-receptors causing inhibition of gastric acid secretion. This summary of antihistamines limits discussion to the H1-receptor antagonists.

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