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Facial thermography is a sensitive tool to determine antihistaminic activity

Comparison of levocetirizine and fexofenadine
: Larbig, M.; Burtin, B.; Martin, L.; Stamm, H.; Luettig, B.; Hohlfeld, J.M.; Krug, N.


British journal of clinical pharmacology 62 (2006), No.2, pp.158-164
ISSN: 0306-5251
ISSN: 0264-3774
Journal Article
Fraunhofer ITEM ()
fexofenadine; healthy subject; Levocetirizine; nasal histamine provocation; nasal skin temperature; wheal and flare; thermography

To assess the antihistaminic activity of levocetirizine and fexofenadine 2 h and 24 h after drug administration using facial thermography and to compare the results with those using well-established parameters of antihistaminic activity in the nose and skin.
This was a randomized, double-blind, three-treatment, three-period, single-dose, cross-over study in healthy males taking levocetirizine 5 mg, fexofenadine 120 mg or placebo. The primary endpoint was nasal skin temperature after nasal histamine challenge recorded for 20 min at 2 and 24 h after drug intake. The secondary endpoints were nasal symptoms and a histamine skin prick test.
Thirty subjects were randomized. At 2 h after drug intake the inhibition of the nasal temperature increase from baseline was not significantly different between levocetirizine and fexofenadine. At 24 h it was significantly more pronounced after levocetirizine than fexofenadine (difference: least-squares mean: -0.13 °C; P ? 0.024, 95% CI -0.24, -0.02). Both drugs significantly reduced (P ? 0.001) the mean temperature increase from baseline compared with placebo at 2 and 24 h (least-squares mean increase and (95% CI): levocetirizine, -0.28 °C (-0.42, -0.14) and -0.32 °C (-0.43, -0.21); fexofenadine -0.35 °C (-0.49, -0.21) and -0.19 °C (-0.30, -0.08), respectively). Results of nasal symptom score and wheal and flare were consistent with the thermography results.
Facial thermography is an objective, non-invasive and sensitive method to study antihistaminic activity at the nose level. Levocetirizine and fexofenadine demonstrate the same activity at 2 h after drug intake, but levocetirizine has a more sustained activity at 24 h.