Bilastine is a new second generation H1-antihistamine recently approved for the symptomatic treatment of allergic rhinitis (AR) and chronic urticaria (CU). Bilastine epitomizes the evolution of research on antihistamines concerning both efficacy and safety. In AR treatment, a number of large controlled clinical trials documented its efficacy, as assessed by improvement of all nasal and ocular symptoms and quality of life. These outcomes show that bilastine meets current EAACI/ARIA criteria for medications used in the treatment of AR. Also in CU, the review of the literature indicates that once-daily treatment with bilastine 20 mg was effective in managing symptoms and improving patient's quality of life. Concerning safety and tolerability, the profile of bilastine is very similar to placebo and in particular the adverse effects on central nervous system are insignificant. The balance of efficacy and safety of bilastine is particularly helpful when dosages higher than standard are needed to control the symptoms, as frequently occurs in patients with urticaria, in whom antihistamines doses up to four times the standard dose may be administered.
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