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International journal of dermatology

Effects of loratadine and cetirizine on serum levels of neuropeptides in patients with chronic urticaria.


PMID 25209952

Abstract

H1-receptor inhibiting drugs, namely loratadine and cetirizine, were frequently used in treatment of chronic urticaria. Urticarial weal and flare reactions, a neurogenic reflex due to neuropeptides, were reported to be more effectively inhibited by cetirizine than loratadine. The aim of this study was to determine and compare the effects of systemic loratadine and cetirizine treatments on serum levels of selected neuropeptides in chronic urticaria. Treatment groups of either systemic loratadine or cetirizine (10 mg/d), consisting of 16 and 22 patients, respectively, were included. Serum levels of stem cell factor (SCF), neuropeptide Y (NPY), calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP), nerve growth factor (NGF), vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP), and substance P (SP) were detected before and after one week of treatment with antihistamines. Serum NPY and VIP levels were significantly decreased when compared before and after treatment with antihistamines (P < 0.001 and P < 0.01, respectively). SCF and NGF values were also decreased after antihistamine treatment (P < 0.05). Post-treatment levels of CGRP were significantly higher compared with pretreatment values, while no significant difference was detected between pre and post treatment levels of SP. Cetirizine was significantly more effective than loratadine on lowering serum levels of SCF among the other neuropeptides. Systemic loratadine and cetirizine treatments in patients with chronic urticaria precisely caused variations in serum levels of neuropeptides. The predominant effect of cetirizine compared to loratadine on reducing serum SCF levels might be explained with anti-inflammatory properties of cetirizine.