Jpn. J. Pharmacol. 86 (3), 275-280 (2001)

REVIEW -Current Perspective-
Drugs for the Treatment of Allergic Diseases

Naoki Inagaki* and Hiroichi Nagai

Department of Pharmacology, Gifu Pharmaceutical University, 5-6-1 Mitahorahigashi, Gifu 502-8585, Japan

*Corresponding author. FAX: +81-58-237-5979, E-mail:

Abstract: Many kinds of drugs are used for the treatment of allergic diseases. Glucocorticoids are the most efficacious drugs and widely used for the treatment of allergic diseases. Recently, effectiveness of inhaled glucocorticoids for the treatment of bronchial asthma has been established. Beclomethasone dipropionate and fluticasone propionate, which are degraded easily after absorption, are applied by inhalation. Histamine is one of the most important mediators in allergic reactions and antihistamines have widely been applied for the treatment of allergic skin diseases. In Japan, over 20 antiallergic drugs, such as mediator release inhibitors, mediator antagonists and mediator synthesis inhibitors, have been developed. Recently developed compounds such as pranlukast and suplatast are very effective. To relieve the asthmatic attack, bronchodilators such as b2-adrenoceptor agonists, theophylline and anti-cholinergic drugs are used. Clinical application of tacrolimus ointment has just started for the treatment of atopic dermatitis. Recently the number of allergic patients has increased. The onset and development of allergic diseases are considered to be dependent on both the genetic factors and the environmental factors. For the successful treatment of patients with allergic diseases, it is also important to consider the control of environmental factors.

Keywords: Glucocorticoid, Antihistamine, Antiallergic drug, Bronchodilator, b2-Adrenoceptor agonist, Theophylline, Tacrolimus
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