List and sedating antihistamines
Allergic rhinitis refers to nasal inflammation due to the release of histamine and other mediators from Ig E-mediated mast cell degranulation in the nose.Other conditions may cause similar symptoms, but they can be distinguished from allergic rhinitis by allergy testing to confirm positive allergen-specific Ig E to specific triggers.
The oral antihistamines available in Australia to treat allergic conditions are listed in the Box.Avoiding trigger factors is the first step in the management of allergic rhinitis but some triggers can be difficult to avoid.Drugs can help and oral antihistamines are one of the mainstays of treatment.There is now little role for sedating antihistamines in allergic conditions.
Less sedating antihistamines are equally efficacious. The less sedating antihistamines can be taken long term with no loss of efficacy, and an ongoing good safety profile.
They are particularly useful for nasal itchiness, sneezing and rhinorrhoea, but are less effective for nasal obstruction.