To assess further the bronchodilator activity of inhaled antihistamines ten stable asthmatic subjects inhaled aerosols of clemastine, 1 mg/ml, and saline placebo administered double blind. Subjects underwent bronchial challenge with increasing concentrations of histamine and methacholine, and specific airways conductance was measured by whole body plethysmography at each concentration. There was a significant 21.9% increase in specific airways conductance after inhalation of clemastine. Subjects could tolerate significantly higher mean concentrations of histamine when treated with clemastine than with saline. The shift of the cumulative log histamine dose-reponse curve suggests that such protection is due to competitive antagonism to the inhaled clemastine. Clemastine did not protect subjects against methacholine-induced bronchoconstriction, which suggests that its bronchodilator properties are not related to any anticholinergic action.
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