H2-antihistamines for the treatment of anaphylaxis with and without shock: a systematic review

Ulugbek B Nurmatov, Edmund Rhatigan, F Estelle R Simons, Aziz Sheikh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: Anaphylaxis is a serious allergic or hypersensitivity reaction, which is rapid in onset and sometimes can prove fatal. Although H2-antihistamines are often administered for emergency treatment in anaphylaxis, there is uncertainty about their effectiveness in this disease.

OBJECTIVE: To assess the benefits and harms of H2-antihistamines in the treatment of anaphylaxis.

METHODS: A systematic review was performed of randomized controlled trials and quasi-randomized controlled trials comparing H2-antihistamines with placebo or no intervention in patients with anaphylaxis.

RESULTS: The authors failed to identify any eligible studies for inclusion in this systematic review.

CONCLUSION: When H2-antihistamines are recommended for anaphylaxis treatment, the status of the evidence base supporting their use should be described. Well-designed randomized controlled trials investigating the role of H2-antihistamines in anaphylaxis treatment are urgently needed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)126-131
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2014


  • Anaphylaxis
  • Anti-Allergic Agents
  • Epinephrine
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Histamine H1 Antagonists
  • Histamine H2 Antagonists
  • Humans
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Shock


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