Histamine is a chemical mediator, released predominantly by tissue mast cells, circulating basophils, and neurons, which are activated in response to various immunological and non-immunological stimuli. Histamine has to bind to specific receptors to exert its physiological and pathophysiological functions. Endogenous histamine is the main mediator of the immediate allergic response, which moreover, performs other multiple functions, including regulation of gastric secretion, neurotransmission in the central nervous system, and immunomodulatory activity. The involvement of histamine in various disorders and the importance of receptors in the clinical features have relevant implications in clinical practice. Anti-H1 antihistamines contrast the histamine-dependent effects, mainly concerning nasal symptoms and cutaneous itching and wheal. Antihistamines are among the most prescribed drugs in pediatric care. This review updates the practical use of antihistamines in children and adolescents.
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