, Volume 28, Issue 12, pp 1101-1118
Date: 20 Nov 2012

The Safety and Efficacy of Desloratadine for the Management of Allergic Disease

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Allergic disease is an increasing problem worldwide. Allergic rhinitis, an inflammatory response to an allergen, affects an estimated 20–40 million people in the US, while chronic idiopathic urticaria is a dermatoallergic condition that affects 0.1–3% of people in the US and Europe. The primary goals of treatment for allergic rhinitis are to reduce symptoms, which include sneezing, rhinorrhoea and nasal congestion, improve quality of life and prevent the sequelae associated with this disease, while the goal for chronic idiopathic urticaria is the rapid and prolonged control of symptoms. Quantitatively, histamine is the most abundant mediator present during an allergic episode — thus, antihistamines (historically called histamine H1 receptor antagonists, now called H1 receptor inverse agonists) are a first-line defense against allergic rhinitis and chronic idiopathic urticaria. Although first-generation antihistamines can cause sedation and cognitive impairment, second-generation antihistamines are relatively nonsedating and free of such adverse events owing to their comparative inability to penetrate the blood-brain barrier. Desloratadine is one such second-generation antihistamine and is indicated for the treatment of allergic diseases, including allergic rhinitis and chronic idiopathic urticaria. It has proven efficacy against the symptoms associated with seasonal and perennial allergic rhinitis, including nasal congestion, and chronic idiopathic urticaria. As a result, it has been shown to improve patients’ quality of life. The safety and efficacy profiles of desloratadine are well established, and published postmarketing analyses have assessed >54 000 patients. Although earlier second-generation antihistamines have been associated with cardiovascular adverse effects, desloratadine has been shown to be safe and well tolerated at nine times the recommended dose. In addition, it has been shown to not interact with concomitantly administered drugs and food. Overall, current data indicate that desloratadine is a safe and effective treatment for allergic diseases.