Effects of Oral Antihistamines on Tear Volume, Tear Stability, and Intraocular Pressure.Vision (Basel). 2020 Jun 20; 4(2)V
The goal of this study was to investigate the effects of two commonly used oral antihistamines-diphenhydramine and loratadine-on tear volume, tear breakup time, and intraocular pressure. Placebo, diphenhydramine, and loratadine were administered for one week to 33 subjects experimentally blind to the treatment given. All the subjects received all three treatments over a period of six weeks. The outcome measures were the change in phenol red thread test (PRT), the tear breakup time (TBUT), and the intraocular pressure (IOP) of both eyes evaluated by experimentally masked observers. Neither of the mean changes in TBUT or IOP depended on the treatment given, but there was a significant monocular decrease in tear volume from diphenhydramine use. While we used an adequate treatment washout period of seven days, our investigation was limited by the short treatment times and inclusion of only young healthy patients. Overall, however, these results suggest that systemic diphenhydramine use should be limited to increase the effectiveness of conventional therapies. Clinicians should have fewer reservations about recommending the use of loratadine concurrent with dry eye treatments.