• A. D. Katsambas
  • A. J. Stratigos
  • T. M. Lotti


The histamine-receptor antagonists or antihistamines are classified into three types:
  1. 1

    Traditional, classic or first-generation H1-type antihistamines.

  2. 2

    Low-sedating or second-generation H1-type antihistamines.

  3. 3

    H2-type antihistamines.

There are three types of histamine receptors: H1, H2 and H3. The H1-receptors mediate the following effects: vasodilatation of small blood vessels resulting in increased permeability, smooth muscle contraction and itching. The H2-receptors are best known for mediating the effects on gastric acid production, and the H3-receptors are found in the brain and are responsible for autoregulation of histamine production and release. The H1-antihistamines, both the traditional and the low sedating, and the H2-type antihistamines to a much less extent are considered first-line medications in dermatological practice. However, the inhibitors of the H3-receptors have not as yet found a role in dermatological treatment.


Atopic Dermatitis Chronic Urticaria Chronic Idiopathic Urticaria Chlorpheniramine Maleate Urticaria Pigmentosa 
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Further reading

  1. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Talk paper. T97. 3 13 Jan 1997.Google Scholar
  2. Lawlor F, Greaves MW. In: Lichtenstein FM, Fauci A, eds. Chronic Urticaria in Current Therapy in Allergy, Immunology and Rheumatology. Philadelphia: Mosby, 1997.Google Scholar
  3. Maddin S. Efficacy and safety of antihistamines in allergic skin disorders. JEur Acad Dermatol Venereol 1997; 8 (Suppl. 1): S18 - S23.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Monroe E. Therapy of acute chronic urticaria. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol 1997; 8 (Suppl. 1): S11 - S17.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Simons FER, Simons KJ. The pharmacology and use of Hl receptor-antagonist drugs. N Engl JMed 1994; 330 (23): 1667.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. D. Katsambas
  • A. J. Stratigos
  • T. M. Lotti

There are no affiliations available

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