Are Oral Antihistamines An Effective Add-on Therapy for Eczema?


oral antihistamines

Oral H1 antihistamines do not appear to be an effective add-on therapy for patients with eczema, according to the findings of a recent systematic review.

“Antihistamines are frequently given for itch, specifically H1 antihistamines taken by mouth,” the researchers wrote. However, there is insufficient evidence on the efficacy of oral antihistamines in addition to standard treatment for the management of eczema.

The Study 

In the review, the researchers identified 25 randomized controlled trials with a total of 3285 participants using several large databases. Thirteen different H1 antihistamines were assessed and study durations were from 3 days to 18 months. Primary outcomes included mean change in patient-assessed symptoms of eczema and proportion of participants reporting adverse effects and serious adverse events. Secondary outcomes included mean change in physician-assessed clinical signs, mean change in quality of life, and number of eczema flares.

The majority of the studies did not report eczema severity at baseline, although they were conducted at secondary care centers and most likely recruited patients with severe cases of eczema, the researchers noted. In addition, the researchers were unable to pool analyses due to high level of diversity across studies.

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