Use of antihistamines in pediatrics

J Investig Allergol Clin Immunol. 2007;17 Suppl 2:28-40.


Drugs with antihistamine action are among the most commonly prescribed medicines in pediatrics. According to the International Medical Statistics (IMS), almost two million antihistamine units (in solution) for pediatric use were sold in Spain during 2006--at a cost of nearly 6 million euros. Of this amount, 34% corresponded to first-generation (or sedating) antihistamines. The difficulties inherent to research for drug development increase considerably when the pediatric age range is involved. The use of any medication in this age group must adhere to the strictest safety criteria, and must offer the maximum guarantees of efficacy. For this reason, detailed knowledge of the best scientific evidence available in relation to these aspects is essential for warranting drug use. The first-generation antihistamines have never been adequately studied for pediatric age groups, though they are still widely used in application to such patients. In contrast, studies in children have been made with the second-generation antihistamines, allowing us to know their safety profile, and such medicines are available at pediatric dosages that have been well documented from the pharmacological perspective. The present review affords an update to our most recent knowledge on antihistamine use in children, based on the best scientific evidence available.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Histamine H1 Antagonists* / adverse effects
  • Histamine H1 Antagonists* / immunology
  • Histamine H1 Antagonists* / therapeutic use
  • Histamine H1 Antagonists, Non-Sedating* / adverse effects
  • Histamine H1 Antagonists, Non-Sedating* / immunology
  • Histamine H1 Antagonists, Non-Sedating* / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / drug therapy
  • Otitis Media / drug therapy
  • Otitis Media / immunology
  • Otitis Media / psychology
  • Quality of Life
  • Respiratory Hypersensitivity* / drug therapy
  • Respiratory Hypersensitivity* / immunology
  • Respiratory Hypersensitivity* / psychology
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / drug therapy
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / immunology
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / psychology
  • Treatment Outcome*


  • Histamine H1 Antagonists
  • Histamine H1 Antagonists, Non-Sedating