Recently there has been widespread interest in the use of antihistaminic drugs in the treatment of the common cold. Several enthusiastic papers have appeared in the medical literature. These reports have been widely publicized in the lay press, and, since some of the antihistaminic drugs have been released for over-the-counter sale, a tremendous advertising campaign has gotten under way.
Brewster's reports1 of 1947 and 1949were on the use of diphenhydramine (benadryl®) hydrochloride, tripelennamine (pyribenzamine®) hydrochloride, pyranisamine maleate (neo-antergan®) and methapyrilene (histadyl® and thenylene®) hydrochloride. He was the first to emphasize the importance of the early use of these drugs in the treatment of the common cold. In his 1949 series, all symptoms were aborted in 19 of 21 patients who started medication within the first hour and in 48 of 55 patients who started medication within two hours of onset. One may reasonably ask how many of these patients
COWAN DW, DIEHL HS. ANTIHISTAMINIC AGENTS AND ASCORBIC ACID IN THE EARLY TREATMENT OF THE COMMON COLD. JAMA. 1950;143(5):421–424. doi:10.1001/jama.1950.02910400013004
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