Topical antihistaminic agents; Topical histamine antagonists; Topical histamine blockers
Topical antihistamines are applied to skin to provide relief of pruritus. Although antihistamines demonstrate H1 and H2 histamine receptor blockades, the exact mechanism of how they exert antipruritic effects remains unknown (Zonalon® and Benadryl® topical cream prescribing information). Two common uses for topical antihistamines are for temporary relief of pain and itching associated with multiple insults, including insect bites, minor skin irritations, and urushiol-induced contact dermatitis associated with the Toxicodendron genus in North America. There is an overarching question to the safety and efficacy of topical antihistamines.
Mechanism of Action
- Benadryl® (diphenhydramine). [prescribing information]. Skillman: Johnson & Johnson; 2012.Google Scholar
- McEvoy G, editor. AHFS drug information. Bethesda: American Society of Health-System Pharmacists; 2006.Google Scholar
- Zonalon® (doxepin). [prescribing information]. Doak Dermatologics. Fairfield; 2007.Google Scholar