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Concept: Cetirizine


Hereditary angioedema (HAE) is a rare autosomal dominant disease that usually occurs in adolescence and early adulthood. It is characterized by recurrent non-pitting edema involving the skin and intestinal tract, especially the extremities and face. It is not associated with urticaria and pruritus. The cause is known to be the deficiency of C1 inhibitor. We herein report a 7-year-old girl with HAE who had recurrent episodes of swelling of the extremities and face without urticaria and pruritus. Her great grandmother had suffered from the same symptoms. The level of serum C4 was 8.01 mg/dL (normal: 10-40 mg/dL). The level of C1 inhibitor was 5.0 mg/dL (normal: 18-40 mg/dL). To our knowledge, this is the first pediatric case with typical clinical symptoms of HAE and C1 esterase inhibitor deficiency in Korea.

Concepts: Hereditary angioedema, C1-inhibitor, Cetirizine, Allergy, Gastroenterology, Urticaria, Angioedema


The effect of cetirizine on quality of life (QOL) in subjects with perennial allergic rhinitis (PAR) has been previously evaluated using generic instruments. While generic QOL tools are used across various conditions, disease-specific instruments evaluate the impact of treatment on areas that are affected by that particular condition. This study evaluated the effect of cetirizine on symptom severity and health-related QOL, using a disease-specific instrument, in adults with PAR. This randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study was conducted at 15 U.S. centers outside the pollen allergy season. After a 1-week placebo run-in period, qualified subjects aged 18-65 years with PAR were randomized to once-daily cetirizine 10 mg (n = 158) or placebo (n = 163) for 4 weeks. Change from baseline in total symptom severity complex (TSSC) and overall Rhinitis Quality of Life Questionnaire (RQLQ) scores were primary efficacy end points. Cetirizine produced significantly greater improvements in mean TSSC for each treatment week (p < 0.05) and for the entire 4-week treatment period (p = 0.005) compared with placebo. After 4 weeks, cetirizine-treated subjects reported significantly greater overall improvement in RQLQ scores compared with placebo-treated subjects (p = 0.004). After 1 week, cetirizine produced significant improvements in the nasal symptoms, practical problems, and activities RQLQ domain scores compared with placebo (p < 0.05). After 4 weeks, cetirizine-treated subjects reported significant reductions in these RQLQ domain scores and in emotion domain scores compared with placebo-treated subjects (p < 0.05). Cetirizine 10 mg daily produced significant improvements in symptom severity and allergic rhinitis-related QOL compared with placebo in adults with PAR.

Concepts: Quality-of-life index, Placebo, Cetirizine, Quality of life, Life, Quality, Asthma, Allergy


Chronic spontaneous urticaria (CSU), also known as chronic idiopathic urticaria (CIU), may produce hives, itch, and angioedema. The Urticaria Activity and Impact Measure (U-AIM) is a newly developed 9-item patient-reported measure designed for use in routine clinical practice to assess CSU activity and impact over the previous 7 days.

Concepts: Cetirizine, Angioedema, Urticaria


Chronic spontaneous urticaria (CSU) is a skin disease, with itchy hives and / or angioedema that last for at least 6 weeks without an obvious external trigger.

Concepts: Urticaria and angioedema, Cetirizine, Angioedema, Urticaria


Burden of illness studies and evaluation of health-related quality of life using validated questionnaires have become an important task in the comprehensive management of angioedema conditions, mainly angioedema associated with chronic spontaneous urticaria and hereditary angioedema caused by C1-inhibitor deficiency. A review of the principal tools and studies is presented. Both diseases present a higher proportion of psychiatric disorders, impair work and studies productivity, and produce high direct and indirect costs. These assessments also have been useful to evaluate the positive impact of new drugs and interventions. More studies are desirable, especially in other types of angioedema disorders, such as hereditary angioedema with normal C1 inhibitor.

Concepts: Gastroenterology, Cetirizine, Quality, Evaluation, Mental disorder, Angioedema, Urticaria, Medicine


Hereditary angioedema (HAE) is a rare genetic disorder characterised by episodes of swelling without urticaria. Berinert® (CSL Behring) is a plasma-derived human C1 inhibitor (C1-INH) concentrate, approved for the treatment of HAE with C1-INH deficiency (C1-INH-HAE), however, it is often used off-label in Europe to treat HAE with normal C1-INH.

Concepts: Hereditary angioedema, Genetics, Cetirizine, Urticaria, Angioedema, C1-inhibitor


Chronic spontaneous urticaria (CSU) is characterized by the recurrence of itchy hives and/or angioedema for greater than six weeks, with no known external trigger. Omalizumab, a humanized, recombinant, monoclonal anti-IgE antibody, is the only approved add-on therapy for H1-antihistamine refractory CSU patients. Areas covered: The objective of this article is to discuss the mechanism of action, pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of omalizumab for the treatment of CSU. The review also summarizes efficacy and safety data from proof-of-concept, Phase II (X-QUISITE, MYSTIQUE), and pivotal Phase III omalizumab studies (ASTERIA I, ASTERIA II, and GLACIAL). Expert opinion: Omalizumab is a clinically effective and safe biological therapy for treating H1-antihistamine refractory CSU patients. It significantly reduces CSU symptoms (hives, itch and angioedema), and improves patient health-related quality of life. While omalizumab is already integral to the treatment of antihistamine refractory CSU, widespread use will depend on legal and economic factors, as well as improvements in the early and accurate diagnosis of CSU patients who would benefit from treatment.

Concepts: Patient, Gastroenterology, Allergy, Cetirizine, Clinical trial, Monoclonal antibodies, Angioedema, Urticaria



Second-generation antihistamines are widely prescribed for the control of symptoms of allergic inflammation such as itchy hives, coryza, and itchy eyes. In rare circumstances, these drugs might provoke allergic inflammation. Hypersensitivity to bepotastine besilate, a second-generation antihistamine has never been reported. A 17-year-old schoolgirl, whose paroxysmal itchy hives had been controlled with bepotastine, experienced aggravation of the hives. An oral provocation test confirmed her hypersensitivity to bepotastine and cross-reactivity to levocetirizine. She showed no reaction to chlorpheniramine, ketotifen, or olopatadine among the 13 antihistamines tested. While searching for an antihistamine to control her itchy hives, we found that she also exhibited cross-reactivity to various antihistamines with different chemical structures from that of bepotastine, which is not predicted according to the chemical classification of antihistamines. We report a case of hypersensitivity to bepotastine besilate in a patient with chronic spontaneous urticaria.

Concepts: Penicillin, Allergology, Cetirizine, Angioedema, Immune system, Contact dermatitis, Allergy, Asthma


This supplement reports proceedings of the second international Global Urticaria Forum, which was held in Berlin, Germany in November 2015. In 2011, a report of the GA(2) LEN task force on urticaria outlined important and unanswered questions in chronic urticaria (CU). These included, but were not limited to, questions on the epidemiology and course of chronic spontaneous urticaria (CSU) [also called chronic idiopathic urticaria (CIU)], the resources allocated for the diagnosis and treatment of CSU, whether patients with angioedema as an isolated symptom can be regarded as a subgroup of CSU, and the efficacy and long-term safety of therapies. Many of these questions have been addressed by recent studies. Some of the answers obtained raise new questions. Here, we summarize some of the key insights on CU obtained over recent years, and we discuss old and new unmet needs and how to address them with future studies. We need to analyze the influence of recent advances in understanding of the burden of CU on patients and society, disease management and the CU patient journey. Our increased understanding of urticarial pathophysiology and consideration of the patient as a whole will need to be translated to better treatment algorithms and protocols. Actions to address these challenges include the 5th International Consensus Meeting on Urticaria, which will take place later this year. The formation of a global network of Urticaria Centers of Reference and Excellence over the next few years has also been proposed, with the aim of providing consistent excellence in urticaria management and a clear referral route, furthering knowledge of urticaria through additional research and educating/promoting awareness of urticaria.

Concepts: Cetirizine, Solar urticaria, Urticaria and angioedema, Chronic urticaria, Angioedema, Urticaria