Should antihistamines be re-considered as antiasthmatic drugs as adjuvants to anti-leukotrienes?

Eur J Pharmacol. 2013 Feb 15;701(1-3):181-4. doi: 10.1016/j.ejphar.2013.01.009. Epub 2013 Jan 23.


In spite of histamine mimicking the symptoms of allergic bronchoconstriction and severe anaphylaxis, histamine antagonists most probably represent no effective treatment for these conditions. Anti-leukotrienes proved effective for preventing attacks of allergic asthma. In vitro evidence supports a supra-additive effect of histamine H1 receptor antagonists and anti-leukotrienes in vitro, in asthma models utilizing human bronchi. The same seems to hold true for human allergen provocation tests in vivo. We conclude that combinations of second-generation antihistamines and anti-leukotrienes deserve a large-scale clinical trial for preventing and/or treating attacks of allergic asthma. If useful, these drugs could provide a cost-effective alternative to some recent antiasthmatics. Given that redundant mechanisms may be included in asthma pathophysiology, other combinations (including thromboxane or platelet activating factor antagonists) could also be considered.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adjuvants, Pharmaceutic / pharmacology*
  • Animals
  • Anti-Asthmatic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Histamine Antagonists / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Leukotriene Antagonists / pharmacology*
  • Leukotrienes / metabolism*


  • Adjuvants, Pharmaceutic
  • Anti-Asthmatic Agents
  • Histamine Antagonists
  • Leukotriene Antagonists
  • Leukotrienes