Levocetirizine: a review of its use in the management of allergic rhinitis and skin allergies

Drugs. 2006;66(7):973-96. doi: 10.2165/00003495-200666070-00017.


Levocetirizine (Xyzal) is a selective, potent, oral histamine H(1) receptor antagonist of the latest generation that is licensed for the symptomatic treatment of allergic rhinitis (including persistent allergic rhinitis [PER]) and chronic idiopathic urticaria (CIU). Large, well designed trials indicate that levocetirizine is effective and generally well tolerated in the treatment of allergic rhinitis and CIU. Its pharmacological profile offers many positive aspects: a rapid onset and long duration of antihistaminic effect; rapid absorption and high bioavailability; a low potential for drug interactions; a low volume of distribution; and a lack of effect on cognition, psychomotor function and the cardiovascular system. Allergen challenge chamber studies suggest that levocetirizine has better efficacy than desloratadine, loratadine or fexofenadine. Well controlled, long-term studies with other later-generation H(1) receptor antagonists are required to fully define its clinical profile relative to other agents in this class. Overall, levocetirizine is a valuable addition to the oral H(1) receptor antagonists available for the treatment of allergic rhinitis and as first-line therapy in patients with CIU.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cetirizine / therapeutic use*
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Histamine H1 Antagonists, Non-Sedating / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Hypersensitivity / drug therapy*
  • Piperazines / therapeutic use*
  • Rhinitis / drug therapy*
  • Rhinitis, Allergic, Perennial / drug therapy
  • Rhinitis, Allergic, Seasonal / drug therapy
  • Skin Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Histamine H1 Antagonists, Non-Sedating
  • Piperazines
  • levocetirizine
  • Cetirizine