H1-antihistamines for the treatment of anaphylaxis: Cochrane systematic review

Allergy. 2007 Aug;62(8):830-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1398-9995.2007.01435.x.


Background: Anaphylaxis is an acute systemic allergic reaction, which can be life-threatening. H(1)-antihistamines are commonly used as an adjuvant therapy in the treatment of anaphylaxis. We sought to assess the benefits and harm of H(1)-antihistamines in the treatment of anaphylaxis.

Methods: We searched the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL, The Cochrane Library); MEDLINE (1966 to June 2006); EMBASE (1966 to June 2006); CINAHL (1982 to June 2006) and ISI Web of Science (1945 to July 2006). We also contacted pharmaceutical companies and international experts in anaphylaxis in an attempt to locate unpublished material. Randomized and quasi-randomized-controlled trials comparing H(1)-antihistamines with placebo or no intervention were eligible for inclusion. Two authors independently assessed articles for inclusion.

Results: We found no studies that satisfied the inclusion criteria.

Conclusions: Based on this review, we are unable to make any recommendations for clinical practice. Randomized-controlled trials are needed, although these are likely to prove challenging to design and execute.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Anaphylaxis / drug therapy*
  • Anti-Allergic Agents / adverse effects
  • Anti-Allergic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Databases as Topic / statistics & numerical data
  • Histamine H1 Antagonists / adverse effects
  • Histamine H1 Antagonists / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic / statistics & numerical data


  • Anti-Allergic Agents
  • Histamine H1 Antagonists