Antihistamines and allergies

  • Deirdre Engler Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University
  • R T Kandiwa Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University
Keywords: Allergic reaction, IgE-mediated, Sensitisation, Mast cells, Histamine, H1-receptor antagonists, Antihistamines

Abstract

Allergy is a very common chronic health condition with a rising incidence. Allergic reactions are immune-mediated and associated with considerable morbidity that impact on the quality of life and pose a socio-economic burden. It is important to identify triggers and to understand the role of the complex immune system. Antihistamines are the most commonly prescribed medicine to treat allergies. Although the efficacy of H1-receptor antagonists is very similar, their pharmacological properties differ. As a custodian of medicine, the pharmacist should have a good understanding of an allergic reaction, how to treat it appropriately and how to individualise therapy. This review focuses primarily on common IgE-mediated allergic conditions treated with antihistamines.

Author Biographies

Deirdre Engler, Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University
BPharm, BSc Hons (Pharmacology), MSc Med (Clinical Pharmacy) Lecturer Department of Pharmacy Faculty of Health Sciences Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University
R T Kandiwa, Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University
BPharm Academic Intern Department of Pharmacy Faculty of Health Sciences Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University
Section
Reviews