"Popular, Common Allergy Medication May Prevent Neuromyelitis Optica Relapses"
The addition of cetirizine (the popular allergy medication sold under the brand name Zyrtec) to standard therapy is safe, well-tolerated, and may reduce relapses in patients with neuromyelitis optica (NMO), a rare and severe disease that causes inflammation and demyelination (damage to the myelin - the protective coating of nerve cells), primarily in the optic nerve (optic neuritis), spinal cord (myelitis), and brainstem. "We were pleased to find that cetirizine was safe and well-tolerated in our population of NMO patients. While the study's open-label design and small sample size preclude definitive conclusions, we did detect a signal that suggested cetirizine may be of benefit. We look forward to future research on this topic," said Ilana Katz Sand, MD, assistant professor of neurology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.
- Ilana Katz Sand, MD, Assistant Professor, Neurology, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai