β-Dimethylaminoethyl benzhydryl ether hydrochloride (Benadryl) its use in allergic diseases

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      • 1.
        1. β-dimethylaminoethyl benzhydryl ether hydrochloride (Benadryl) is a useful drug in the treatment of allergic diseases. It relieved 60 per cent of 223 patients presenting a variety of allergic symptoms.
      • 2.
        2. It is entirely palliative in action, and withdrawal is followed by recurrence of symptoms.
      • 3.
        3. Its effect was variable and frequently unpredictable in the same patient.
      • 4.
        4. It was not very effective in asthma complicated by a respiratory infection. It was least effective in allergic rhinitis.
      • 5.
        5. It was very useful in urticaria and for the control of pruritis in the allergic dermatoses.
      • 6.
        6. Side reactions were frequently encountered, occurring in 63 per cent of the patients. The chief side reaction was drowsiness of varying degree up to narcolepsy. One-half the patients developing reactions had to discontinue the drug. The tendency to side reactions was frequently overcome by continuation of the drug with reduced dosages.
      • 7.
        7. Side reactions were unpredictable, not always occurring in the same patient, one patient with allergic rhinitis, and two with migraine.
      • 8.
        8. The drug produced an aggravation of symptoms in four asthmatic patients, one patient with allergic rhinitis, and two with migraine.
      • 9.
        9. A tolerance was developed by two patients with urticaria who were at first definitely relieved by the drug.
      • 10.
        10. The drug did not appreciably influence the scratch test for ragweed carried out twenty minutes after the ingestion of 100 milligrams.
      • 11.
        11. The drug should be of considerable value in those patients able to tolerate it for the control of symptoms while allergic investigations are being carried out.
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      1. Personal communication to the authors by the Department of Clinical Investigation, Parke, Davis and Company, Detroit, Mich.

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