The Aword

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Rumore and Schlichting ([i]) reported in 1985 on the analgesic effects of antihistamines.

These drugs are used to treat cancer patients and those with HIV-related neuropathy. They improve opioid analgesia and relieve complicating symptoms such as nausea and insomnia. ([ii])

They may also be used in conditions such as interstitial cystitis, a very painful autoimmune bladder disorder. (the antihistamine may help to reduce the inflammatory component of the symptoms)

There are 2 preparations commonly used: Hydroxyzine hydrochloride: Atarax and Hydroxyzine pamoate: Vistaril. A typical dosing regime might be 50mg every 4-6 hours (oral).

Side effects include sedation, dry mouth and increased depression in patients who already suffer from concurrent depression as a result of their chronic illness.

[i] Rumore MM, Schlichting DA Life Sci 1985 Feb 4;36(5):403-16 Analgesic effect of antihistamines.
[ii] Breitbart W, McDonald  MV, JIAPAC July, 1996  Pharmacologic Pain Management in HIV/AIDS