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H1 antihistamines: psychomotor performance and driving


I Jáuregui 1, J Mullol 2, J Bartra 3, A del Cuvillo 4, I Dávila 5, J Montoro 6, J Sastre 7, AL Valero 3

1 Unidad de Alergología. Hospital de Basurto. Bilbao, Spain;
2 Unitat de Rinologia, Servei d’Otorinolaringologia (ICEMEQ). Hospital Clínic. Barcelona, Spain;
3 Unitat d’Al·lèrgia. Servei de Pneumologia i Al·lèrgia Respiratòria. Hospital Clínic (ICT). Barcelona, Spain;
4 Clínica Dr. Lobatón. Cádiz, Spain;
5 Servicio de Alergia. Hospital Clínico. Salamanca, Spain;
6 Unidad de Alergia. Hospital La Plana. Villarreal (Castellón), Spain;
7 Servicio de Alergia. Fundación Jiménez Díaz. Madrid, Spain

J Investig Allergol Clin Immunol 2006; Vol. 16, Supplement 1: 37-44



As has already been extensively commented in the article on antihistamines and the central nervous system, published in this same issue, all the classical antihistamines and, to a lesser extent, the more recent synthetic compounds are able to exert depressive action upon the central nervous system (CNS), causing drowsiness, lassitude, dizziness, incoordination, and increased reaction time. Moreover, in many cases they also induce peripheral neurological effects secondary to cholinergic block (dilatation of the pupils, blurry vision, or dry mouth), which can affect patient ability to drive.
According to information from the traffi c authorities, in Spain each year motor vehicle accidents cause 5000 deaths and 130,000 injuries – the majority affecting people under 40 years of age. At least one-third of these accidents are due to human factors related with the driver, including alcohol consumption, risk behavior and, in some cases, drug substances [1]. In 2004 the Comisión Profesional de Sociedades Sanitarias para la Prevención de Lesiones por Accidentes de Tráfico (COSPLAT) was created, comprising 38 medical societies, including the Sociedad Española de Alergología e Inmunología Clínica (SEAIC). The joint objectives of the SEAIC and COSPLAT include the elaboration of a list of antiallergic medicines, the use of which should be limited among drivers, and the recommendations of the medical community regarding the prescription of other, safer alternatives [2]. .../... more at PDF full text