The era of antihistaminic therapy was instituted in 1933 when Fourneau and Bovet1 demonstrated that certain phenolic ethers had the property of counteracting the action of histamine in vivo and in vitro. Their most effective compound, 929 F, as well as compound 1571 F, studied by Staub,2 were so toxic to humans as to preclude their therapeutic usage. In 1942 Halpern3 reported his studies with compound 2339 RP (antergan® [dimethylamino-ethyl-benzylamine]), which proved to be well tolerated. Since then numerous antihistamines have been synthesized, studied, and made available for oral, parenteral, and topical use.
The rapid succession of "new and better" antihistamines made appraisal of their value difficult and prompted a report by the Council on Pharmacy and Chemistry of the American Medical Association entitled "Too Many Drugs?"4 Reports relating to the chemistry and pharmacology of the antihistamines and to the results of oral administration are
Ellis FA, Bundick WR. APPRAISAL OF TOPICAL USE OF ANTIHISTAMINES. JAMA. 1952;150(8):773–776. doi:10.1001/jama.1952.03680080035008
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