do prescription anti-histamines spur cancer growth?...

Millions of individuals consume antihistamines for allergic rhinitis and hay fever. Recently, antihistamines have been found to promote the growth of malignant tumours in mice (at the same time some antidepressants demonstrated the same cancer-causing effects). 

Research from the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, Canada, stated: "We believe it possible that chronic consumption of many prescription and non-prescription drugs with tumour-growth-promoting properties may represent a previously unrecognised, and therefore insidious, environmental risk factor for cancer growth."

The researchers did cancer-promoting studies with the drugs Elavil, Prozac, Claritin, Hismanal, Aterax, Unison, NyQuil and Reactine. Three of these appeared to speed up the growth of the cancer injected into mice. 

Loratadine (Claritin) and astemizole (Hismanal) significantly enhanced growth of both melanoma and fibrosarcoma, while hydroxyzine (Aterax) promoted the development of melanoma. 

What appears to be taking place is these drugs do not cause cancer, but speed up the proliferation of a cell that is already malignant. These drugs diffuse through the cell membrane and bind to histamine receptors. 

This interferes with the P-450 enzyme system, a group of enzymes that detoxifies poison and aids in regulating cell growth. If the cell is healthy this disruption may not do too much. If the cell has already been triggered by a cancer initiator the alteration of the P-450 system, may tip the cell over the edge. 

Many who suffer from cancer become clinically depressed and are subsequently treated with antidepressants which may well trigger a further significant impact of the patients cancer and overall health.

Dr Lorne Brandes from the University of anitoba believes the society's use of prescription drugs may well explain the general increasing incidence of cancer. 

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