Background Recent findings suggest the involvement of oxidative stress in the pathogenesis of chronic idiopathic urticaria (CIU). It has been demonstrated that desloratadine has an antioxidant activity in vitro. We evaluated the effects of desloratadine on markers of oxidative stress in patients with CIU.
Methods Blood samples were obtained from 10 patients with CIU before and after 4 weeks of treatment with desloratadine. Blood samples from 10 healthy volunteers were used as controls. In platelets from both patients and controls, radical oxygen species (ROS) production was measured using spectrofluorimetric detection of dichloro-fluorescein oxidation, and superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity was determined by means of the xanthine-xanthine oxidase system.
Results Radical oxygen species concentrations and SOD activity were significantly elevated in patients with CIU at baseline as compared with control subjects. Treatment with desloratadine caused a relevant reduction of ROS levels and SOD activity (P < 0.005).
Conclusions These preliminary results suggest that desloratadine exerts antioxidant effects also in vivo.