Variant effect of first- and second-generation antihistamines as clues to their mechanism of action on the sneeze reflex in the common cold.Clin Infect Dis 2001; 33(9):1483-8CI
Treatment with first-generation antihistamines reduces sneezing, rhinorrhea, nasal mucus weight, and, in some instances, cough in subjects with experimental or natural colds; however, treatment with second-generation antihistamines has not been effective for these complaints in trials in subjects with natural colds. This article reports the negative results of a clinical trial with loratadine, a second-generation antihistamine, in adults in the rhinovirus challenge model. This finding in the highly controlled setting of the challenge model confirms the earlier negative studies with second-generation antihistamines in natural colds. First-generation antihistamines block both histaminic and muscarinic receptors as well as passing the blood-brain barrier. Second-generation antihistamines mainly block histaminic receptors and do not pass the blood-brain barrier. The effectiveness of first-generation antihistamines in blocking sneezing in colds may be due primarily to neuropharmacological manipulation of histaminic and muscarinic receptors in the medulla.