Safety and tolerability of levocetirizine dihydrochloride in infants and children with allergic rhinitis or chronic urticaria

Allergy Asthma Proc. Jul-Aug 2010;31(4):290-5. doi: 10.2500/aap.2010.31.3349.


Allergic rhinitis (AR) and chronic idiopathic urticaria (CIU) are common causes of substantial illness and disability in preschool children. Antihistamines are commonly used to treat preschool children with these conditions, but their use is based mostly on extrapolated efficacy from adult populations; it is thus important to characterize the safety of antihistamines in the pediatric population. This study was designed to assess the safety of levocetirizine dihydrochloride oral liquid drops in infants and children with AR or CIU. Two multicenter, double-blind, randomized, parallel-group studies randomized infants aged 6-11 months (study 1, n = 69) and children aged 1-5 years (study 2, n = 173) to levocetirizine, 1.25 mg (q.d. or b.i.d., respectively), or placebo for 2 weeks, using a 2:1 ratio. Safety evaluations included treatment-emergent adverse events (TEAEs), vital signs, electrocardiographic (ECG) assessments, and laboratory tests. The overall incidence of TEAEs was similar between levocetirizine and placebo in both studies. Most TEAEs were mild or moderate in intensity. TEAEs prompted discontinuation of therapy in three patients receiving levocetirizine in study 1. No clinically relevant changes from baseline in vital signs or laboratory parameters were apparent in either study; changes from baseline in these evaluations were similar between groups. No significant changes were observed in ECG parameters, including corrected QT interval. Levocetirizine, 1.25 and 2.5 mg/day, was well tolerated in infants aged 6-11 months and in children aged 1-5 years, respectively, with AR or CIU.

Trial registration: NCT00619801 NCT00628108.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Cetirizine / administration & dosage*
  • Cetirizine / adverse effects
  • Child, Preschool
  • Chronic Disease
  • Disease Progression
  • Electrocardiography
  • Female
  • Histamine Antagonists / administration & dosage*
  • Histamine Antagonists / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Rhinitis, Allergic, Perennial / diagnosis
  • Rhinitis, Allergic, Perennial / drug therapy*
  • Rhinitis, Allergic, Perennial / physiopathology
  • Rhinitis, Allergic, Seasonal / diagnosis
  • Rhinitis, Allergic, Seasonal / drug therapy*
  • Rhinitis, Allergic, Seasonal / physiopathology
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Urticaria / diagnosis
  • Urticaria / drug therapy*
  • Urticaria / physiopathology


  • Histamine Antagonists
  • levocetirizine
  • Cetirizine

Associated data