1Dipartimento di Pediatria, Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria, Ancona
2Pediatra di famiglia, Ancona
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Key words: Antihistamines, Allergic diseases
Second-generation antihistamines differ from first-generation because of their elevated specificity and affinity for peripheral H1-receptors and because of their lower penetration in to the central nervous system, having fewer sedative effects as a result. Over the last few years, new compounds with different pharmacokinetic properties have been synthesized. The majority of these exhibit anti-inflammatory properties that are independent of their action on the H1-receptors. More recent improvements of the molecules, generally in the form of active metabolites, led to the synthesis of new-generation antihistamines. In the past, the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of H1 antihistamines were not optimally investigated in the pediatric population, especially in infants and young children. The pharmacology of second-generation H1 antihistamines has been investigated relatively deeper than old antihistamines in children, but a major attention to this aspect should be reserved in future studies. In this article, the pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic characteristics of the new oral antihistamines are described. Furthermore, their side effects, safety and the clinical use in different allergic conditions in childhood are considered.
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