Rupatadine (Rupafin, Rinialer, Rupax, Alergoliber) is a selective oral histamine H(1)-receptor antagonist that has also been shown to have platelet-activating factor (PAF) antagonist activity in vitro. It is indicated for use in seasonal allergic rhinitis (SAR), perennial allergic rhinitis (PAR) and chronic idiopathic urticaria (CIU) in patients aged >/=12 years. Clinical trials show that rupatadine is an effective and generally well tolerated treatment for allergic rhinitis and CIU. It has a rapid onset of action and a prolonged duration of activity. Importantly, it has no significant effect on cognition, psychomotor function or the cardiovascular system. Once-daily rupatadine significantly improves allergic rhinitis symptoms in patients with SAR, PAR or persistent allergic rhinitis (PER) compared with placebo, and provides similar symptom control to that of loratadine, desloratadine, cetirizine or ebastine. In patients with CIU, longer-term use of rupatadine improves CIU symptoms to a greater extent than placebo. It is as well tolerated as other commonly used second-generation H(1)-receptor antagonists. Thus, the introduction of rupatadine extends the range of oral agents available for the treatment of allergic disorders, including allergic rhinitis and CIU.