The prick test is a useful skin test for diagnosing immediate hypersensitivity response. Sometimes it is necessary to perform prick tests on patients who have already received antihistamines or corticosteroids. It is, however, occasionally uncertain whether the results of prick tests are reliable. In this study, the inhibitory effects of prednisolone (10 mg/day) and fexofenadine (120 mg/day) on the response to prick tests induced with histamine and compound 48/80 were examined. During a 7-day-continual drug administration, prick tests were performed 8 h after drug administration. The inhibitory effects of fexofenadine on both the histamine- and compound 48/80-induced skin responses were exhibited on the 1st day and persisted from 24 to 36 h after the final administration. The histamine-induced wheal responses were not inhibited by prednisolone, while the compound 48/80-induced flare and wheal responses were significantly inhibited on the 5th day of drug administration. These responses returned to the baseline level 24 h after the last drug administration. Thus, the results of skin tests performed during administration of antihistamines and corticosteroids should be carefully interpreted.
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