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The Efficacy of a Two-Fold Increase of H1-Antihistamine in the Treatment of Chronic Urticaria - the Vietnamese Experience

By Huyen Tran Thi, Lan Pham Thi, Thuong Nguyen Van, Phuong Pham Thi Minh, Hao Nguyen Trong, Tro Chau Van, Sau Nguyen Huu, Trang Trinh Minh, Nghi Dinh Huu, Tam Hoang Van, Van Tran Cam, My Le Huyen, Khang Tran Hau, Marco Gandolfi, Francesca Satolli, Claudio Feliciani, Michael Tirant, Aleksandra Vojvodic and Torello Lotti


BACKGROUND: Chronic urticaria, a mast cell-driven condition, is common, debilitating and hard to treat. H1-antihistamines are the first line treatment of chronic urticaria, but often patients do not get satisfactory relief with the recommended dose. European guidelines recommend increased antihistamine doses up to four-fold. AIM: We conducted this study to evaluate the efficacy of increased H1-antihistamine doses up to two-fold in Vietnamese chronic urticaria patients. METHODS: One hundred and two patients with chronic urticaria were recruited for treatment with levocetirizine (n = 52) or fexofenadine (n = 50). Treatment started at the conventional daily dose of 5 mg levocetirizine or 180 mg fexofenadine for 2 weeks and then increased to 10 mg levocetirizine or 360 mg fexofenadine for 2 weeks if patients did not have an improvement in symptoms. At week 0, week 2 and week 4 wheal, pruritus, size of the wheal, total symptom scores, and associated side-effects were assessed. RESULTS: With the conventional dose, the total symptom scores after week 2 decreased significantly in both groups compared to baseline figures, i.e. 7.4 vs 2.3 for levocetirizine group and 8.0 vs 2.6 for fexofenadine group (p < 0.05). However, there were still 26 patients in each group who did not have improvements. Of these 26 patients, after having a two-fold increase of the conventional dose, 11.5% and 38.5% became symptom-free at week 4 in levocetirizine group and fexofenadine group, respectively. At week 4 in both groups, the total symptom scores had significantly decreased when compared with those at week 2 (2.8 ± 1.5 versus 4.7 ± 1.6 in levocetirizine group; 2.1 ± 1.9 versus 5.1 ± 1.4 in fexofenadine group). In both groups, there was no difference in the rate of negative side effects between the conventional dose and the double dose. CONCLUSION: This study showed that increasing the dosages of levocetirizine and fexofenadine by two-fold improved chronic urticaria symptoms without increasing the rate of negative side effects

Topics: Chronic urticaria, Chronic idiopathic urticaria, Antihistamine, Fexofenadine, Levocetirizine, Medicine, R
Publisher: ID Design 2012/DOOEL Skopje
Year: 2019
DOI identifier: 10.3889/oamjms.2019.069
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