Histamine is an important mediator in airway inflammation. It is elevated in the airways of asthmatic patients and is responsible for many of the pathophysiological features in asthma. Antihistamines block the actions of histamine and also have effects on inflammation which is independent of histamine-H(1)-receptor antagonism. Antihistamines have been shown to have bronchodilatory effects, effects on allergen-, exercise-, and adenosine-monophosphate-challenge testing, and also to prevent allergen-induced nonspecific airways hyperresponsiveness. Clinical studies have shown mixed results, and some studies have reported beneficial effects of azelastine, cetirizine, desloratadine, and fexofenadine on asthma symptoms or physiological measures in patients with asthma. The combination of an antihistamine and a leukotriene receptor antagonist has been shown to have additive effects in certain studies. Antihistamines have also been shown to delay or prevent the development of asthma in a subgroup of atopic children. These data suggest that antihistamines may have beneficial effects in the management of asthma.