The anti-inflammatory effects of levocetirizine: are they clinically relevant or just an interesting additional effect?

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Levocetirizine, the R-enantiomer of cetirizine dihydrochloride has pharmacodynamically and pharmacokinetically favourable characteristics, including rapid onset of action, high bioavailability, high affinity for and occupancy of the H1-receptor, limited distribution, minimal hepatic metabolism together with minimal untoward effects. Several well conducted randomised clinical trials have demonstrated the effectiveness of levocetirizine for the treatment of allergic rhinitis and chronic idiopathic urticaria in adults and children. In addition to the treatment for the immediate short-term manifestations of allergic disease, there appears to be a growing trend for the use of levocetirizine as long-term therapy. In addition to its being a potent antihistamine, levocetirizine has several documented anti-inflammatory effects that are observed at clinically relevant concentrations that may enhance its therapeutic benefit. This review will consider the potential or otherwise of the reported anti-inflammatory effects of levocetirizine to enhance its effectiveness in the treatment of allergic disease.
Original languageEnglish
Article number14
Number of pages5
JournalAllergy, Asthma, and Clinical Immunology
Publication statusPublished - 17 Dec 2009


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