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Year : 1994  |  Volume : 60  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 272-274

A comparative study of efficacy of cetirizine versus astemizole in chronic idiopathic urticaria

Correspondence Address:
M Vijay

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Efficacy of Cetirizine and Astemizole was compared in 50 cases of chronic Idiopathic urticaria. Patients were divided into 2 groups viz A and B. Before starting the therapy, routine investigations were carried out to rule out any septic focus. Prior to treatment, 1 week before all medications were withdrawn. Cetirizine and Astemizole, 10mg each, were given as a single daily morning dose for 1 month and patients were followed up for 1 month. 40% excellent response was observed with Cetirizine while 20% excellent response with Astemizole. Good response was observed in 32% patients with Cetirizine and 28% with Astemizole. No side effects were observed except sedation, 8% in Cetirizine group and 20% with Astemizole group.

Keywords: Chronic urticaria, Cetirizine, Astemizole

How to cite this article:
Vijay M, Rawal R C, Billimoria F E. A comparative study of efficacy of cetirizine versus astemizole in chronic idiopathic urticaria. Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol 1994;60:272-4

How to cite this URL:
Vijay M, Rawal R C, Billimoria F E. A comparative study of efficacy of cetirizine versus astemizole in chronic idiopathic urticaria. Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol [serial online] 1994 [cited 2020 Nov 24];60:272-4. Available from:

  Introduction Top

Urticaria may be described as transient succulent, circumscribed, oedematous and itchy eruptions on the skin which usually lasts for a few hours to couple of days. When urticarial attacks continue for more than 3 months it is considered as chronic urticaria [1]

Cetirizine and Astemizole are both potent H 1 receptor blockers which inhibit histamine induced weal and flare [2],[3] Cetirizine also inhibits antigen antibody induced eosinophilic migration [4] Both are claimed to be devoid of sedative and anticholinergic effects [5] This study compares the effect and side effects of both drugs in chronic idiopathic urticaria.

  Materials and Methods Top

50 patients with chronic idiopathic urticaria were selected from outdoor patients of Skin, V D and Leprosy department of Civil Hospital Ahmedabad. The youngest was 10 years old, and the oldest 51. They were investigated to rule out any underlying cause for their urticaria. They had atleast symptoms of 3 months duration. All their medications were stopped. Their urine, stool and blood were analyzed.

They were divided into two group A & B

Group A received Certirizine 10mg once daily. Group B received Asternizole 10mg once daily:

Patients had lesions in the form of urticaria with erythema (19- each group), dermographism (A-5, B-4), Angioedema (A-1, B-2). Patients were followed every week for 1 month. Drug was continued for 1 month or till patients responded, which ever was earlier. They were followed for 1 month to watch for recurrences.

  Results Top

Observations were recorded and were analyzed as shown in the tables. The results were graded according to the subjective and objective norms.

  Comments Top

Cetirizine and Astemizole are both newer H-1 receptor blockers claimed to be devoid of sedative and anticholinergic effect. Daily dose of 10mg. OD is optimal for both.

Present study shows that drugs are definitely effective in chronic idiopathic utricaria. Excellent results were 40% with Cetirizine and 20% with Astemizole.

Good response was present in 32% with Cetirizine and 28% with Astemizole [Table 1].

These results are comparable with other reported study . [7]

As regards the side effects, 2 patients developed sedation in group A while 5 patients (20%) had sedation in group 9. [Table 2]

The better effect of Cetirizine may be attributed to its dual action as it blocks eosinophilic migration. [4],[5],[6],[7],[8] No other side effects were observed in both drugs. More clinical trial with large number of patients with long duration - follow-ups, however must be performed before conclusions can be drawn about the Cetirizine - Astemizole comparison.

  Acknowledgement Top

To Stangen Laboratories for providing us the necessary drugs for the trial and to Mr. Himanshu Patel for doing the investigations of the trial.

  References Top

1.Champion R H. Urticaria. In : Textbook of dermatology (R H champion, J L Buston, F J Ebling, eds) 5th edition, London : Blackwell Scientific publication : 1992; 1865-80.  Back to cited text no. 1    
2.Riboux JP, Dupont P. Comparative study of the peripheral and central effects of terfenadine and cetirizine 2HCL. Ann Allergy 1987; 59 : 235-8.  Back to cited text no. 2    
3.Gendreau-Ried L, Simons KJ, Simons FER. Comparison of the suppressive effect of Astemizole, terfenadine and hydroxyzine on histamine induced weals and flares in humans. J Allergy Clin Immunol 1986; 77 :335-40.  Back to cited text no. 3    
4.Fadel R, Herpin R N, Riboux JP, et al. Inhibitory effect of ceitrizine 2HCL on eosinophil imgration in vivo. Clin Allergy 1987; 17: 373-9.  Back to cited text no. 4    
5.Jublin J. Arendtac treatment of chronic utricaria with cetirizine dihydrochloride, non sedative antihistaminic. Br J Dermatol 1988; 119 : 67-71.  Back to cited text no. 5    
6.Alomar A, De la Cuadra J, Fernandez J. Cetirizine vs Astemizole in the treatment of chronic Idiopathic urticaria. J Internat Med Res 1990; 18: 358-65.  Back to cited text no. 6    
7.Krause L B, Shuster S A. Comparison of Astemizole and chlorpheniramine maleate in dermographic urticaria. Br J Dermatol 1958; 112 : 447-573.  Back to cited text no. 7    
8.Michel L, De Vos C, Riboux JP, et al. inhibitory effect of cetirizine on Ag-induced histamine and PGD release and on eosinophil recruitment in allergic patients (abstract). Ann Allergy 1987; 59 : 67.  Back to cited text no. 8    


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