The use of a responder analysis to identify clinically meaningful differences in chronic urticaria patients following placebo- controlled treatment with rupatadine 10 and 20 mg

J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2009 Sep;23(9):1088-91. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-3083.2009.03289.x. Epub 2009 May 18.


Background: According to the EAACI/GA(2)LEN/EDF guidelines for urticaria management, modern non-sedating H1-antihistamines are the first-line symptomatic treatment for chronic urticaria. Two previous randomized clinical trials demonstrated rupatadine efficacy and safety in chronic urticaria treatment. However, a responder analysis to identify clinically meaningful differences in patients with chronic urticaria has not yet been performed.

Methods: This analysis includes the pooled data from two randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicentre studies in which chronic urticaria patients were treated with rupatadine at different doses. Responder rates were defined as the percentage of patients after 4 weeks of treatment who exhibited a reduction of symptoms by at least 50% or 75% as compared to baseline. The variables analysed were as follows: Mean Pruritus Score (MPS), Mean Number of Wheals (MNW), and Mean Urticaria Activity Score (UAS).

Results: A total of 538 patients were included. This responder analysis, using different response levels, shows that the efficacy of rupatadine 10 mg and 20 mg is significantly better as compared to placebo in the treatment of chronic urticaria patients. Notably, treatment with rupatadine 20 mg daily resulted in a higher percentage of patients with response of 75% symptom reduction or better than rupatadine 10 mg.

Conclusion: Our results support the use of higher than standard doses of non sedating antihistamines in chronic urticaria. We strongly recommend performing and reporting responder analyses for established and new drugs used by patients with chronic urticaria.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Chronic Disease
  • Cyproheptadine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Cyproheptadine / therapeutic use
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Female
  • Health Surveys
  • Histamine H1 Antagonists, Non-Sedating / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Urticaria / drug therapy*
  • Urticaria / pathology


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