Effects of fexofenadine and hydroxyzine on brake reaction time during car-driving with cellular phone use

Manabu Tashiro, Etsuo Horikawa, Hideki Mochizuki, Yumiko Sakurada, Motohisa Kato, Takatoshi Inokuchi, Fran Ridout, Ian Hindmarch, Kazuhiko Yanai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)


Antihistamines are a mainstay treatment for allergic rhinitis; however, many older agents cause adverse events, including sedation and central nervous system (CNS) impairment. Research has shown sedating effects of antihistamines on driving; currently, no known study has examined whether cellular phone usage while driving further compounds impairment in individuals administered antihistamines. The aim of this study was to examine this endpoint. In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, three-way crossover study, healthy volunteers received fexofenadine HCl 120 mg, hydroxyzine HCl 30 mg and placebo. Brake reaction time (BRT) was used to examine driving performance across four conditions: driving only; driving while completing simple calculations; complex calculations; and conversing on a cellular phone. Subjective sedation assessments were also conducted. Brake reaction time with and without cellular phone usage in fexofenadine-treated subjects did not differ significantly from placebo in any condition. In contrast, hydroxyzine-treated subjects were significantly more sedated and had slower BRTs, suggesting slower hazard recognition and brake application, compared with the fexofenadine and placebo groups in all conditions. Importantly, cellular phone operation was an additive factor, increasing BRTs in hydroxyzine-treated volunteers. Fexofenadine did not impair CNS function in subjects involved in a divided attention task of driving and cellular phone operation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)501-509
Number of pages9
JournalHuman Psychopharmacology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2005 Oct


  • Antihistamines
  • Car driving
  • Cellular phone
  • Cognitive function
  • Fexofenadine
  • Hydroxyzine


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