New study suggests that antihistamine might reverse bile duct and liver damage

Hello everyone,

I created this post to share THIS interesting article I just discovered. This study has conducted research on both mice and humans, which suggests that histamin might accelerate PSC-progression as well as bile duct cancer (CCA) progression. The authors have discovered that common over-the-counter antihistamines can reverse PSC-associated damage to the bile ducts and liver. They have also discovered that it can slow down CCA progression.

The results from the study are especially interesting since antihistamines are cheap over-the-counter drugs, with very few side effects. Too be fair, only 3 human PSC patients and 6 CCA patients have been treated. Therefor more research is of course needed. Keep in mind that the real problem with this discovery is actually the fact that antihistamines are cheap over-the-counter drugs. Because of this, no pharmacutical company is ever going to sponsor any clinical trials.

Kind regards,



What’s interesting is that when my PSC was kicking hard last year and I had not yet been diagnosed, I did a food sensitivity test as I felt so crappy.
Mahi Mahi and Marlin were both on my eat very sparingly list if at all.
This year when I had the test run again, out of pure curiosity, both were off my list and my PSC continues to quiet as my enzymes continue to drop and fatigue and nausea are not as big of issues.
Article talks briefly about it.
Correlation or not, gives me plenty food for thought. And mostly I determine, moderation and mass variety of good foods is best. I tend to react if I eat too much of one thing.


I’ve been on an antihistamine (zyrtec) for years before being diagnosed with PSC. My PSC has been progressing. So, for ME antihistamines doesn’t work with slowing it down.

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To be fair, it isn’t possible to tell whether it works for you or not since your PSC could have progressed more without antihistamine.


Thanks for sharing this information.
Looks promising.
Regarding the additional research, there are number of not for profit organization that sponsor this kind of researches, in PSC case, “PSC partners seeking a cure” is one of them and they have done sponsorship before.


That is true, but not for profit organizations generally only sponsor small scale research. PSC Partners seeking a cure have for example sponsored small scale vancomycin research. But this isn’t enough to get FDA approval. I believe that the only way for there to be an approved treatment of PSC is if someone finds a completely new drug that can be patented. Generally $50-100 millions is needed to get a drug through clinical trials.

I can only see the abstract, so will only comment based on that.
It’s way too early to say anything. Experiments were performed on genetically changed mice and cell culture.

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Yes, that’s true. Further research is certainly needed.

This looks very promising! I wonder if between the combination of an anti-histamine and Vancomycin we can have a real fighting chance.

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Maybe! What we need is someone to create a million or so mdr2-mice and feed them with anything imaginable, untill we find the best possible treatment! Maybe I should start a mouse farm… :sweat_smile: It reminds me of Will Smith in the movie I Am Legend.


LOL… thank you!

Ok help. I realize my English capabilities are not what I thought they were.
Are you saying reasearch is suggesting taking allergy pills may reverse damage caused by psc?

Interesting. I have wondered if not taking his pills can have been a trigger to developing PSC for my boy (11 at diagnosis)
He is allergic to cat and dust, and we had a cat, and we have dust. He wasn’t visibly bothered, so we didn’t force medication.

There is a bit of previous research that have shown that histamine might accelerate bile duct cancer (CCA), but this article is the first article to suggest it might also accelerate PSC-damage. Keep in mind that this is only one article, so we can’t draw any conclusions yet. Antihistamine (i.e. allergy pills) is probably not going to cure PSC, but it might slow the progression down a bit. Therefor, further research is needed.

Yes, I am totally on board with no conclusions drawn.
But wondering if I shoud start him up on his meds again (cetrizin) since he’s a prooven allergic. I’ll confer with the doctors tuesday, next appointment.

I wouldn’t try to self medicate based on one article, but if he is allergic then antihistamines would at least help against his allergies.

You are probably right. :blush:

No scientific conclusions have been reached on this topic of antihistamine and PSC reversal. Certainly don’t get your hopes up on this study. Although we surely hope a cure for PSC will come one day, we are not there yet. Your best defense is to be under the care of a hepatologist throughout your life with PSC. He/she will be your best advocate for continued care as well as to present you to the transplant committee when the need of transplant arises. I wish you improved health though.

PSC 2011 / Liver Transplant 2015


I work for a pharmacy benefits management company (I am not a pharm) and I just wanted to give everyone heads up that antihistamines seem to be trending as the next best thing since sliced bread, so proceed carefully, it could (and in my opinion, probably is) be a prescribing fad.

One prescription plan that comes to mind immediately now requires that in order to cover PPIs (nexium, protonix, etc) the patient must also be taking antihistamines. Not sure what allegery meds have to do with stomache acids. Another plan I know of has started requiring the use of antihistamines with steriod nasal sprays like Flonase, and while that makes somewhat more sense, the plan is still requiring the use of an antihistamine for no really good reason.

I seem to be seeing a trend where antihistamines are becoming the “add on” fad for prescribing. Don’t know to do with somone? Put them on an allergy med! It should help something at some point… that seems to be what’s happening.

Just be careful and do your personal research before adding any meds to what you’re doing.


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No one should of course start self-medicate based on this very early research, but I don’t agree with your statement that antihistamines are a prescription fad.

Combining PPI treatment with an H2-antagonist (a type of antihistamine) actually works better than just using PPI. Stomach acid production is caused by multiple things, one of which is the histamine. Both PPIs and H2-antagonists reduce stomach acid, but they work in different ways. Taking both is like fighting the enemy from two fronts.

The reason for taking steriod nasal sprays is generally hay fever (i.e. allergic rhinitis). The patients who take steriod nasal sprays therefor generally would benefit from antihistamine.

Well, I have been on antihistamines regularly since even before I was diagnosed, and still my PSC has progressed…go figure.