. Allergopedia

Λεξικό .. Third generation anti H1

Third generation anti H1, Tρίτης γενιάς αντιΗ1. A third generation of antihistamines emerged for the treatment of allergic rhinitis and chronic urticaria. First generation antihistamines are among the most widely used drugs in the world, and provide symptomatic relief from allergies and the common cold to millions of patients, mainly in OTC combination preparations.

Their full potential is limited by the sedation caused by their effects on histamine receptors in the brain. Second generation antihistamines (terfenadine, astemizole, loratadine and cetirizine), which block peripheral H1 receptors without penetrating the blood-brain barrier, were developed and introduced from 1981 onwards to provide comparable therapeutic benefit without the CNS side-effects. Although largely successful in this goal, terfenadine and astemizole were found to cause potentially serious arrhythmias when plasma concentrations became elevated subsequent to impaired metabolism. It was established that the cardiac toxicity was mainly due to the parent drugs.

As active metabolites could account for most of the clinical benefit, the goal for the third generation of antihistamines became to develop therapeutically active metabolites that were devoid of cardiac toxicity. The first of these drugs, fexofenadine (the active metabolite of terfenadine), was approved in July 1996, after an unusually rapid development programme. Its introduction set a new standard of safety that led the FDA to request the withdrawal of terfenadine in 1997 on the grounds that a safer version of an equivalent drug was now available.


Handley DA, Magnetti A, Higgins AJ. Therapeutic advantages of third generation antihistamines. Expert Opin Investig Drugs. 1998 Jul;7(7):1045-54.

Γκέλης Ν.Δ. - Λεξικό Αλλεργίας - Εκδόσεις ΒΕΛΛΕΡOΦΟΝΤΗΣ - Κόρινθος 2013

Gelis Ν.D. - Dictionary of Allergies - VELLEROFONTIS Publications - Corinth 2013