European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology

, Volume 35, Issue 3, pp 255–259

Comparison of the central and peripheral effects of cetirizine and terfenadine


  • J. C. Pechadre
    • E.E.G. and Functional Exploration of the Nervous System Laboratory
  • D. Vernay
    • E.E.G. and Functional Exploration of the Nervous System Laboratory
  • J. F. Trolese
    • Laboratory of Medical Pharmacology, I.N.S.E.R.M. U 195, Clermont Ferrand
  • M. Bloom
    • UCB S.A.
  • P. Dupont
    • UCB S.A.
  • J. P. Rihoux
    • UCB S.A.

DOI: 10.1007/BF00558262

Cite this article as:
Pechadre, J.C., Vernay, D., Trolese, J.F. et al. Eur J Clin Pharmacol (1988) 35: 255. doi:10.1007/BF00558262


The peripheral and central effects of 10 mg cetirizine 2 HCl and 60 mg terfenadine have been compared with placebo in 9 healthy male volunteers.

The peripheral effect, in terms of cutaneous reactivity to 1 µg histamine i.d., was measured by planimetry of the wheal and erythemas. Central effects were assessed with a self-evaluation visual scale and from the results of electroencephalographic spectrum analysis. Peripheral inhibition of histamine reactivity was more intense and quicker for cetirizine than for terfenadine. On the self-evaluation scale, no significant difference between terfenadine, cetirizine and placebo was noted. The quantified EEG did not show any variation in spectral parameters at any time after cetirizine. By contrast, at 6 h terfenadine had increased slow waves and had inhibited the alpha band. Thus, 10 mg cetirizine 2 HCl had less effect on the central nervous system than terfenadine 60 mg, whilst its peripheral action appeared more quickly and was more intense.

Key words

cetirizineterfenadineCNS-/peripheral effectsallergic disorderH1 antagonist
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© Springer-Verlag 1988