Treatment of chronic idiopathic urticaria with astemizole
Christopher J. Huerter, MD
Wilma F. Bergfeld, MD, FACP
William O. Wagner, MD
Jacob W. E. Dijkstra, MD
Astemizole is a new, long-acting H1 receptor antagonist that has proven effective in controlling the signs and symptoms of chronic idiopathic urticaria, without the sedative and anticholinergic side effects that typify use of many antihistamines. In an eight-week open study of 20 patients, astemizole significantly decreased the signs and symptoms of urticaria, as well as the severity of urticaria by anatomic location. Five patients reported complete clearing. Modest weight gain while on chronic therapy appears to be a significant side effect.