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Original Research

Prescription analysis of both H1 and H2 antihistamines among in-patients of dermatology department of a tertiary care teaching hospital in a coastal town of South India

Bhanu Prakash Kolasani, C. M. Divyashanthi, Prasanand Sasidharan, Sri Venkateswaran Kothandapany.


Background: Antihistamines are one of the commonly used drugs for treating dermatological disorders. Periodic evaluation of prescribing patterns can increase the therapeutic efficacy, decrease adverse effects, and provide feedback to prescribers.

Aims and Objectives: The objective of the present study was to evaluate the prescribing pattern of both H1 and H2 antihistamines in in-patients of dermatology department in a tertiary care teaching hospital.

Materials and Methods: A prospective observational study was carried out in the Department of Dermatology of Vinayaka Missions Medical College and Hospital, Karaikal. A total of 291 prescriptions belonging to in-patients of dermatology department were scrutinized during the study period. Patient’s age, sex, and pattern of skin diseases reported and trends in antihistaminic drug usage as monotherapy or as combinations were analyzed. Most common adverse effects of the prescribed antihistamines were graded, and data were expressed as absolute numbers and percentages.

Results: Out of the total 291 prescriptions screened, 213 (73.2%) contained at least one antihistaminic drug. The majority of patients were in the age group of 41-50 years (26.83%) followed by 31-40 years (22.36%). Psoriasis, eczema, and allergic contact dermatitis were the top three disorders for which antihistamines were prescribed. Overall second-generation H1 antihistamines were prescribed more commonly than their first-generation counterparts. The most commonly prescribed antihistamine as monotherapy was cetirizine (59.62%) and combination was pheniramine + cetirizine (16.43%). H2 blockers were prescribed to 91 patients (42.7%), ranitidine being the one and only H2 blocker prescribed.

Conclusion: Secondgeneration antihistamines were more commonly prescribed compared to first-generation drugs. Cetirizine was the most commonly prescribed antihistamine, and pheniramine + cetirizine was the most prescribed combination. A substantial number of patients were prescribed H2 blockers also which indicates the higher proportion of resistant dermatological conditions.

Key words: Cetirizine; H2 Blockers; Pheniramine; Psoriasis; Second-generation Antihistamines

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