In vivo antimuscarinic actions of the third generation antihistaminergic agent, desloratadine.

Research paper by G G Howell, L L West, C C Jenkins, B B Lineberry, D D Yokum, R R Rockhold

Indexed on: 20 Aug '05Published on: 20 Aug '05Published in: BMC Pharmacology


Muscarinic receptor mediated adverse effects, such as sedation and xerostomia, significantly hinder the therapeutic usefulness of first generation antihistamines. Therefore, second and third generation antihistamines which effectively antagonize the H1 receptor without significant affinity for muscarinic receptors have been developed. However, both in vitro and in vivo experimentation indicates that the third generation antihistamine, desloratadine, antagonizes muscarinic receptors. To fully examine the in vivo antimuscarinic efficacy of desloratadine, two murine and two rat models were utilized. The murine models sought to determine the efficacy of desloratadine to antagonize muscarinic agonist induced salivation, lacrimation, and tremor. Desloratadine's effect on the cardiovascular system was explored in both rodent models.In the pithed rat, both desloratadine (1.0 mg/kg, i.v.) and the muscarinic M2 selective antagonist, methoctramine (0.5 mg/kg, i.v.), inhibited negative inotropic (left ventricular dP/dt) effects caused by oxotremorine, a nonselective muscarinic agonist (p < 0.05). Negative chronotropic effects caused by oxotremorine were inhibited by desloratadine, methoctramine, and the muscarinic M3 selective antagonist, 4-DAMP (1.0 mg/kg, i.v.). A late positive inotropic event observed after the initial decrease was inhibited by all three test compounds with desloratadine and 4-DAMP being the most efficacious. In the conscious animal, inhibition of baroreflex-mediated bradycardia was evaluated. Unlike atropine (0.5 mg/kg, i.v.), desloratadine did not alter this bradycardia. The antimuscarinic action of desloratadine on salivation, lacrimation, and tremor was also explored. In urethane-anesthetized (1.5 g/kg, i.p.) male ICR mice (25-35 g) desloratadine (1.0, 5.0 mg/kg) did not inhibit oxotremorine-induced (0.5 mg/kg, s.c.) salivation, unlike atropine (0.5 mg/kg) and 4-DAMP (1.0 mg/kg). In conscious mice, desloratadine failed to inhibit oxotremorine-induced (0.5 mg/kg, s.c.) salivation, lacrimation, and tremor. However, desloratadine did inhibit oxotremorine-induced tremor in phenylephrine pretreated animals.The presented data demonstrate that the third generation antihistamine, desloratadine, does not significantly antagonize peripheral muscarinic receptors mediating salivation and lacrimation, therefore, xerostomia and dry eyes should not be observed with therapeutic use of desloratadine. Our data also indicate when administered to a patient with a compromised blood-brain barrier, desloratadine may cause sedation. Patients with compromised cardiovascular systems should be closely monitored when administered desloratadine based on our results that desloratadine has the ability to interfere with normal cardiovascular function mediated by muscarinic receptors.