Bilastine vs. hydroxyzine: Occupation of brain histamine H1-receptors evaluated by positron emission tomography in healthy volunteers

Magi Farré, Clara Pérez-Mañá, Esther Papaseit, Esther Menoyo, Marta Pérez, Soraya Martin, Santiago Bullich, Santiago Rojas, José Raul Herance, Carlos Trampal, Luis Labeaga, Román Valiente

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

49 Citations (Scopus)


AIM A close correlation exists between positron emission tomography (PET)-determined histamine H1-receptor occupancy (H1RO) and the incidence of sedation. Antihistamines with H1RO <20% are classified as non-sedating. The objective was to compare the H1RO of bilastine, a second generation antihistamine, with that of hydroxyzine.METHODS This randomized, double-blind, crossover study used PET imaging with [11C]-doxepin to evaluate H1RO in 12 healthy males (mean age 26.2 years), after single oral administration of bilastine (20 mg), hydroxyzine (25 mg) or placebo. Binding potentials and H1ROs were calculated in five cerebral cortex regions of interest: frontal, occipital, parietal, temporal, insula. Plasma bilastine concentrations, subjective sedation (visual analogue scale), objective psychomotor performance (digital symbol substitution test), physiological variables and safety (adverse events, AEs), were also evaluated.RESULTS The mean binding potential of all five regions of interest (total binding potential) was significantly greater with bilastine than hydroxyzine (mean value 0.26 vs. 0.13, P < 0.01; mean difference and 95% CI-0.130 [-0.155, 0.105]). There was no significant difference between bilastine and placebo. Overall H1RO by bilastine was significantly lower than that by hydroxyzine (mean value-3.92% vs. 53.95%, P < 0.01; mean difference and 95% CI 57.870% [42.664%, 73.075%]). There was no significant linear relationship between individual bilastine plasma concentrations and total binding potential values. No significant between-treatment differences were observed for sedation and psychomotor performance. Twenty-six non-serious AEs were reported. Sleepiness or sedation was not reported with bilastine but appeared in some subjects with hydroxyzine.CONCLUSIONS A single oral dose of bilastine 20 mg had minimal H1RO, was not associated with subjective sedation or objective impairment of psychomotor performance and was devoid of treatment-related sedative AEs, thus satisfying relevant subjective, objective and PET criteria as a non-sedating antihistamine. © 2014 The Authors. British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)970-980
JournalBritish Journal of Clinical Pharmacology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014


  • Bilastine
  • Histamine H-1-receptor occupanc
  • PET
  • Positron emission tomography
  • antihistamines H-1


Dive into the research topics of 'Bilastine vs. hydroxyzine: Occupation of brain histamine H1-receptors evaluated by positron emission tomography in healthy volunteers'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this