пятница, 14 сентября 2012 г.

Allergy pills affect kids differently - The Gazette (Colorado Springs, CO)

A study by scientists at National Jewish Medical and ResearchCenter in Denver may affect what you choose to pull from yourmedicine cabinet to battle your child's allergies.

Studies looking at the effects of antihistamines on adults havefound that over-the-counter antihistamines containingdiphenhydramine, such as Benadryl, may affect a person's drivingability more than alcohol. Because of the potent sedative effects,doctors routinely recommend newer, nonsedating antihistamines tobattle seasonal allergies.

But the research by National Jewish, appearing in this month'sissue of The Journal of Pediatrics, found the older antihistamines donot have the same significant sedating effects on children.

'Kids are not just small versions of adults,' said Bruce Bender,head of pediatric behavioral health at National Jewish and leadauthor of the study. 'Their physiology is different. What was learnedin adult studies of antihistamines doesn't necessarily apply tochildren. You really have to do studies with kids.'

The study found that neither diphenhydramine nor the nonsedatingprescription antihistamine loratadine, sold as Claritin, appeared tohave any effect on children's alertness or ability to learn.

The National Jewish research team enrolled 63 children ages 8 to10 in a simulated school for four days on three consecutive weekends.The students, who all had histories and positive skin tests forallergies, were given either a placebo or children's recommendeddoses of diphenhydramine or loratadine twice a day for the firstthree simulated school days. At the end of each day, the studentswere tested on the material they had learned, were given computerizedreaction-time tests and asked how sleepy they felt.

'We wanted to do a study that really got at the real-lifeexperience of children,' Bender said. 'Children don't drive cars, butthey go to school.'

Bender cautioned that two previous child studies onantihistamines produced conflicting results and that more research isneeded. But he thinks the new study raises significant doubts aboutthe assumed effects of diphenhydramine on children.

The study was funded by a grant from Schering-Plough, maker ofClaritin.