Is there a role for antileukotrienes in urticaria?

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In vitro and in vivo clinical and experimental data have suggested that leukotrienes play a key role in inflammatory reactions of the skin. Antileukotriene drugs, i.e. leukotriene receptor antagonists and synthesis inhibitors, are a new class of anti-inflammatory drugs that have shown clinical efficacy in the management of asthma. We searched the MedLine database and carried out a manual search on journals specializing in allergy and dermatology for the use of antileukotriene drugs in urticaria. Montelukast might be effective in chronic urticaria associated with aspirin or food additive hypersensitivity or with autoreactivity to intradermal serum injection when taken with an antihistamine but not in moderate chronic idiopathic urticaria. Evidence for the effectiveness of zafirlukast and the 5-lipoxygenase inhibitor, zileuton, in chronic urticaria is mainly anecdotal. In addition, there is anecdotal evidence of effectiveness of antileukotrienes in primary cold urticaria, delayed pressure urticaria and dermographism. No evidence exists for other physical urticarias, including cholinergic, solar and aquagenic urticarias, vibratory angio-oedema, and exercise-induced anaphylaxis.

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