, Volume 12, Issue 3, pp 201-204

The effect of diphenhydramine alone and in combination with ethanol on histamine skin response and mental performance

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The effects of diphenhydramine and diphenhydramine plus ethanol on response to intradermal histamine and on mental performance were assessed in twelve male volunteers. A significant impairment of histamine skin response was found with diphenhydramine. This response was unaffected by ethanol. Ethanol improved performance with a tracking test compared with diphenhydramine alone, the effect was not potentiated by the combination. None of the treatments had a significant effect on a digit symbol substitution test. Co-administration of ethanol and diphenhydramine caused greater impairment of performance in a serial seven subtraction test than diphenhydramine alone. There was no correlation between central and peripheral effects of the antihistamine.

A brief presentation of part of this material was given at the British Pharmaceutical Conference 1976.