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October 1996

Effect of Topical Diphenhydramine on the Laryngeal Chemoreflex

Author Affiliations

From the University of Minnesota and Hennepin County Medical Center, Minneapolis.

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1996;122(10):1112-1116. doi:10.1001/archotol.1996.01890220078013

Objective:  To study diphenhydramine nebulization as a clinically applicable method for blunting laryngeal chemoreflex (LCR)-associated apnea.

Intervention:  Fourteen piglets aged 15 to 18 days were studied. In 7 piglets, diphenhydramine hydrochloride (5.0 mg/kg) was nebulized onto the laryngeal mucosa after a baseline response was obtained.

Results:  After a 10-minute waiting period, the mean±SD LCR-induced apnea duration decreased from 29± 13 seconds in the control animals to 15±5 seconds in the treated group (P=.02, 1-factor analysis of variance). After 1 hour, no treatment effect was seen.

Conclusions:  Nebulization of diphenhydramine can effectively reduce LCR-induced apnea for a short time. Nebulization of longer-acting agents may provide an effective prophylaxis of LCR-induced apnea.Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1996;122:1112-1116