• acquired cold urticaria;
  • ebastine;
  • histamine;
  • mast cells

Background:  Acquired cold urticaria (ACU) is a skin condition, in which exposure to cold results in wheals and itching and sometimes general systemic complications. It has a profound impact on patient quality of life. Second-generation antihistamines are recommended as the first-line treatment, but to date only a few have been scientifically tested for this condition.

Aim:  To assess the safety and efficacy of ebastine in preventing ACU symptoms.

Methods:  Twenty-two adult ACU patients participated in a double-blind crossover trial of 20 mg ebastine. The safety of ebastine was sensitively assessed with a psychometric battery testing cognitive performance and mood. After cold challenge, wheal and erythema were assessed by the investigator and the intensities of pruritus and burning were rated by the subject.

Results:  Ebastine had no negative impact on any of the parameters of cognitive performance or mood. It dramatically reduced the number of patients who experienced wheals, pruritus, and burning after challenge.

Conclusion:  Ebastine is safe and effective in preventing the symptoms of ACU.