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Use of Antihistamines for AD Treatment Evaluated

J Am Acad Dermatol; ePub 2018 Jan 6; He, et al

Although antihistamines are widely used for the treatment of atopic dermatitis (AD), there is no high-level evidence to suggest that non-sedating antihistamines reduce itch in patients with AD, or that sedating antihistamines provide benefit in controlling AD symptoms (except perhaps sleep and AD co-morbidities, such as allergic rhinitis), a recent study found. The National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (NAMCS) provided data on physician visits from 2003-2012. Sedating and non-sedating antihistamine use was identified at AD visits. There were 990,000 annual visits for AD. Researchers found:

  • Antihistamines were prescribed for AD in a significant proportion of visits across physician specialties (16-44%).
  • Dermatologists and pediatricians primarily used sedating antihistamines (58-70%), while the majority of family/general practitioners, internists, and other specialists prescribed non-sedating antihistamines for AD (55-100%).

He A, Feldman SR, Fleischer JR AB. An assessment of the use of antihistamines in the management of atopic dermatitis. [Published online ahead of print January 6, 2018]. J Am Acad Dermatol. doi:10.1016/j.jaad.2017.12.077.

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Trends in Atopic Dermatitis Management, J Drugs Dermatol; 2018 Feb; He, Feldman, et al