, Volume 231, Issue 3, pp 257-266

The effect of a first-generation H1-antihistamine on postural control: a preliminary study in healthy volunteers

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Abstract

First-generation H1-antihistamines are known to cause fatigue and drowsiness, due to their poor receptor selectivity and their high penetration rate of the blood–brain barrier. However, little is known about the effects of first-generation H1-antihistamines on postural stability. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of d-chlorpheniramine on postural stability using posturography with and without foam rubber. A double-blind study with three parallel groups was conducted. Twenty-seven healthy young volunteers (mean age 21.9 years) were recruited and orally administered d-chlorpheniramine, 2 or 4 mg, or placebo. Postural sway was measured every hour up to 8 h after administration. Two-legged stance tasks were performed by each subject in four conditions: eyes open or eyes closed and with or without foam rubber. Inter-group comparisons showed that the group receiving 4-mg d-chlorpheniramine showed significantly larger sway in the eyes open with foam rubber condition (visual and vestibular information available, somatosensory information reduced). Inter-subject analysis in the 4-mg d-chlorpheniramine group showed that the effect of d-chlorpheniramine on postural control was variable. Our results suggest that among the three main sensory systems responsible for postural control (visual, vestibular, and somatosensory), d-chlorpheniramine may have a larger effect on the visual and/or vestibular systems in susceptible individuals.