Lack of effects of astemizole on vestibular ocular reflex, motion sickness, and cognitive performance in man

R. L. Kohl, J. L. Homick, N. Cintron, D. S. Calkins

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Astemizole was orally administered to 20 subjects in a randomized, double-blind design to assess the efficacy of this peripherally active antihistamine as an antimotion sickness drug possessing no central side-effects. Measures of vestibular ocular reflex (VOR) were made to evaluate the agent as a selective vestibular depressant. Following 1 week of orally administered astemizole (30 mg daily), a Staircase Profile Test, a VOR test, and a variety of tests of cognitive performance were administered. These tests revealed no statistically significant effects of astemizole. This leads us to conclude that, although the drug probably reaches the peripheral vestibular apparatus in man by crossing the blood-vestibular barrier, a selective peripheral antihistamine (H1) action is inadequate to control motion sickness induced through cross-coupled accelerative semicircular canal stimulation in a rotating chair.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1171-1174
Number of pages4
JournalAviation Space and Environmental Medicine
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 1987
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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