Fexofenadine: biochemical, pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic properties and its unique role in allergic disorders

Expert Opin Drug Metab Toxicol. 2009 Jul;5(7):813-22. doi: 10.1517/17425250903044967.


Background: Fexofenadine is one of several second-generation H(1)-antihistamines approved for the treatment of various allergic disorders; however, it shows numerous unique properties that make it an optimal choice for many patients.

Objective: To review the pharmacology, efficacy and safety of fexofenadine and the attributes differentiating it from other H(1)-antihistamines.

Methods: We performed a literature search in PubMed/MEDLINE (1966 - March 2009) using the keywords fexofenadine, antihistamine, allergic rhinitis and chronic urticaria. We also reviewed data provided by the manufacturer in addition to reports from various governmental agencies.

Results/conclusions: Fexofenadine is devoid of sedative and anticholinergic effects and may offer equivalent or greater efficacy in treating allergic disorders compared with other currently available second-generation H(1)-antihistamines. In addition, fexofenadine may offer cost savings over other selected H(1)-antihistamines owing to its recent availability in generic form in the US.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Allergic Agents / chemistry*
  • Anti-Allergic Agents / pharmacokinetics*
  • Anti-Allergic Agents / pharmacology
  • Anti-Allergic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Clinical Trials as Topic / methods
  • Humans
  • Hypersensitivity / drug therapy*
  • Hypersensitivity / metabolism
  • Hypersensitivity / prevention & control
  • Terfenadine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Terfenadine / chemistry
  • Terfenadine / pharmacokinetics
  • Terfenadine / pharmacology
  • Terfenadine / therapeutic use


  • Anti-Allergic Agents
  • Terfenadine
  • fexofenadine