Skip to main content

Long-Term Tolerability of Fexofenadine in Healthy Volunteers


Objective: To evaluate the long-term safety of fexofenadine compared with placebo.

Design: Two placebo-controlled, double-blind, randomised, parallel-group studies.

Setting: Twenty-nine investigational centres in the USA.

Patients: Healthy volunteers aged 12 to 65 years.

Interventions: In a 6-month study, 436 volunteers received either fexofenadine 60mg twice daily or placebo; in a 12-month study, 477 volunteers received fexofenadine 240mg once daily or placebo.

Main Outcome Measures and Results: In both studies, adverse events, 12-lead ECGs, laboratory evaluations and vital signs were recorded. There was no statistically significant difference in the incidence of adverse events when fexofenadine was compared with placebo. The most frequently reported treatment-related adverse event was headache, which occurred with a similar incidence for fexofenadine compared with placebo in both studies. Fexofenadine was not associated with statistically significant changes in 12-lead ECGs or clinically relevant changes in laboratory evaluations or vital signs when compared with placebo.

Conclusions: These two long-term studies demonstrate that fexofenadine, at doses up to 240mg once daily for up to 12 months in healthy volunteers, is safe and well tolerated.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.


  1. Druce HM, Kaliner MA. Allergic rhinitis. JAMA 1988; 259(2): 260–3

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  2. Simons FER, Simons KJ. The pharmacology and use of Hireceptor antagonist drugs. N Engl J Med 1994; 330(23): 1663–70

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  3. Mathews KP. The urticarias. Current concepts in pathogenesis and treatment. Drugs 1985; 30: 552–60

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  4. Simons FER. Hi-receptor antagonists. Comparative tolerability and safety. Drug Saf 1994; 10(5): 350–80

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  5. Passalacqua G, Bousquet J, Bachert C, et al. The clinical safety of Hi-receptor antagonists. An EAACI position paper. Allergy 1996; 51: 666–75

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  6. Janssens MML, Howarth PH. The antihistamines of the nineties. Clin Rev Allergy 1993; 11: 111–53

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  7. Simons FER. The eternal triangle: benefit, risk and cost of therapeutic agents. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol 1996; 77: 337–40

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  8. Good AP, Rockwood R, Schad P. Loratadine and ventricular tachycardia. Am J Cardiol 1994; 74(2): 207

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  9. Monahan BP, Ferguson CL, Killeavy ES, et al. Torsades de pointes occurring in association with terfenadine use. J Am Med Assoc 1990; 264(21): 2788–90

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  10. Woosley RL. Cardiac actions of antihistamines. Ann Rev Pharmacol Toxicol 1996; 36: 233–52

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  11. Paul E, Berth-Jones J, Ortonne J-P, et al. Fexofenadine hydrochloride in the treatment of chronic idiopathic urticaria: a placebo-controlled, parallel-group, dose-ranging study. J Derm Treat 1998; 9: 143–9

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  12. Simons FER, Simons KJ. Peripheral H1-blockade effect of fexofenadine. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol 1997; 79: 530–2

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  13. Bronsky EA, Falliers CJ, Kaiser HB, et al. Effectiveness and safety of fexofenadine, a new nonsedating H1-receptor antagonist, in the treatment of fall allergies. Allergy Asthma Proc 1998; 19: 135–41

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  14. Bernstein DI, Schoenwetter WF, Nathan RA, et al. Efficacy and safety of fexofenadine hydrochloride for treatment of seasonal allergic rhinitis. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol 1997; 79: 443–8

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  15. Day JH, Briscoe MP, Welsh A, et al. Onset of action, efficacy and safety of a single dose of fexofenadine hydrochloride for ragweed allergy using an environmental exposure unit. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol 1997; 79: 533–40

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  16. Russell T, Stoltz M, Weir S. Pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, and tolerance of single- and multiple-dose fexofenadine hydrochloride in healthy male volunteers. Clin Pharmacol Ther 1998; 64(6): 612–21

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  17. Vermeeren A, O’Hanlon JF. Fexofenadine’s effects, alone and with alcohol on actual driving and psychomotor performance. J Allergy Clin Immunol 1998; 101: 306–11

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  18. Pratt C, Mason J, Russell T, et al. Effect of fexofenadine HCl on corrected QT interval (QTc). Allergy 1997; 52Suppl. 37:67

    Google Scholar 

  19. Markham A, Wagstaff AJ. Fexofenadine. Drugs 1998; 55(2): 269–76

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  20. Woosley RL, Chen Y, Freiman JP, et al. Mechanism of the cardiotoxic actions of terfenadine. JAMA 1993; 269: 1532–6

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  21. Lippert C, Ling J, Brown P, et al. Mass balance and pharmacokinetics of fexofenadine HCl in healthy, male volunteers [abstract S390]. Pharm Res 1995; 12 Suppl. 9

  22. Robbins DK, Castles MA, Pack DJ, et al. Dose proportionality and comparison of single and multiple dose pharmacokinetics of fexofenadine (MDL 16455) and its enantiomers in healthy male volunteers. Biopharm Drug Dispos 1998; 19: 455–63

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  23. Data on file 0039; Hoechst Marion Roussel.

  24. Finn AF, Kaplan A, Fretwell R, et al. Safety and efficacy of fexofenadine HCl in the treatment of chronic idiopathic urticaria (CIU). J Allergy Clin Immunol 1999; 103: S156

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Jolene Mason.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Nathan, R.A., Mason, J., Bernstein, D.I. et al. Long-Term Tolerability of Fexofenadine in Healthy Volunteers. Clin. Drug Investig. 18, 317–328 (1999).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


  • Placebo
  • Adis International Limited
  • Allergic Rhinitis
  • Terfenadine
  • Loratadine