To cite this article: Zuberbier T, Oanta A, Bogacka E, Medina I, Wesel F, Uhl P, Antépara I, Jáuregui I, Valiente R, the Bilastine International Working Group. Comparison of the efficacy and safety of bilastine 20 mg vs levocetirizine 5 mg for the treatment of chronic idiopathic urticaria: a multi-centre, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study. Allergy 2010; 65: 516–528.
Background: Bilastine is a novel nonsedative H1-receptor antagonist, which may be used for the symptomatic treatment of chronic idiopathic urticaria (CU). The aim of this study was to compare the clinical efficacy and safety of bilastine 20 mg vs levocetirizine 5 mg and placebo in CU patients with moderate-to-severe symptoms.
Methods: Overall 525 male and female subjects aged 18–70 years were randomized to receive bilastine 20 mg, levocetirizine 5 mg or placebo, once daily for 28 days, in double-blind manner, in 46 centres across Europe and Argentina. Patients rated symptoms of pruritus, number of wheals, and maximum size of wheals (on predefined scales) as reflective (over past 12 h) symptoms twice daily, for assessment of change from baseline in the total symptoms scores (TSS) over 28 days as the primary efficacy measure. Changes in reflective and instantaneous symptoms scores, Dermatology Life Quality Index (DLQI), and CU-associated discomfort and sleep disturbance were assessed as secondary outcomes. Safety was assessed according to adverse events, laboratory tests and electrocardiograms.
Results: Bilastine reduced patients’ mean reflective and instantaneous TSS from baseline to a significantly greater degree than placebo (P < 0.001); from day 2 onwards of treatment. The DLQI, general discomfort, and sleep disruption were also improved significantly in bilastine-treated patients as compared with placebo-treated patients (P < 0.001 for all parameters). Comparison with levocetirizine indicated both treatments to be equally efficacious as well as equally safe and well tolerated as compared with placebo.
Conclusions: Bilastine 20 mg is a novel effective and safe treatment option for the management of CU.