Antihistamines and allergies

D. Engler*, R. T. Kandiwa

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-18
Number of pages8
JournalSA Pharmaceutical Journal
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Allergic reaction
  • Antihistamines
  • H1-receptor antagonists
  • Histamine
  • IgE-mediated
  • Mast cells
  • Sensitisation


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