Do you struggle with urticaria?

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I've had urticaria since a bad flu virus in November.  Fexofenadine plus Piriton or Phenergan barely touched the itch.  Since seeing a Dermotologist and a Physician I've found two solutions which have helped no end.  Firstly found my Vitamin D levels were extremely low.  Since taking a strong Vit D dosage, my hives seemed to have lessened and some days don't appear at all.  The next is medication, keep up 2 x 180mg Fexofenadine daily plus Cetrizine 10mg and Ranitidine 150mg, also both twice a day.

?At last life is bareable. 

Thought to share this with any urticaria sufferers as I know how horrendous it is to suffer that daily itch and discomfort.

?I too believe that urticaria is bought on or aggravated by stress, going by experience.

?It took me 3 GP visits and nearly 4 months of hives before getting help within a day seeing a Dermotologist privately.  Definately the way forward for expert help.

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10 Replies

  • Posted

    Thank goodness you finally had a answer. It can be the most difficult part when hives and itching has taken over. 

    Vit - D was the answer and the other meds have help bring back peace to your life. 

    I also take take meds for the hives and itching. It took years before a doc finally found a medication that stopped the misery. 

    I have skin rashes and psoriasis as well as shingles so it's been a challenge to manage all the itching.

    take care and thank you for sharing your info.

    Hope xxx

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  • Posted

    Hi Rosanne,

     I'm glad you found relief although it sounds like it took way too long from the time the hives initally appeared. I work in healthcare so I am quite demanding- I advocate for my own well-being.  There is something about the itching that is evil. At one point, I remember thinking that severe back pain, which I've had in the past, would be better than itching. The itching makes me have crazy thoughts. When the itching goes away, it is easy to forget about the condition except for all the meds I'm taking. 

    I think some people, particularly, women are more susceptible to Chronic Idiopathic Urticaria. I have constant allergic rhinitis/hayfever so was taking most of the same meds (citirizine, ranitadine, and montelukast) daily.

    Best to you,

    January

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  • Posted

    I suffered with this delibitating desease for three yrs before getting diagnosed and ive benn getting shots of 300mg of zolair.  It worked really well for almost two months and it seems to be coming back.  So today back to specialist to see if i can add something to what i'm already taking or replace one of the meds with something else.  Besides the shots i'm taking antihistamine singulair and apo doxipin and it's still itching.  I still have hope though.

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    • Posted

      So the Xolair stopped working after just 2 months.....wow! It's supposed to block the IgE antibody. And you have been fully worked up lab wise and nothing has been found-- even upon repeat testing?

      Basically, hives are due to release of Histamine so antihistamines are the #1 drug, which may need to be taken in excessively high doses (up to 4-fold recommended dose). So block the histamine using nonsedating-2nd gen drugs like citirizine, loratidine, etc in addition to 1st-gen antistamines like hydroxyzine, benadryl, if 2nd gen don't work. Steroids may need to be started and tapered- steroids help with the angioedema and histamine release. You might need to be on a higher dosage of doxepin.  I take 1st gen drugs q3-4 hours around the clock (I set an alarm) when hives are present in addition to all the other drugs which helps tremendously- takes 2 full days for the hives to disappear if all over my body and less time if just mild presentation. 

      In the USA, an allergist is the specialist of choice because hives is a systemic problem that presents as itchy skin but is not truly a derm problem. A Rheumatologist would be an alternative since they also deal with autoimmune conditions as do dermatologists.  Yes, the disease sucks but you have to learn to live with it because what is the other option..... death? Hives will not defeat me.

      Best

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    • Posted

      So you take four times the dose of reactine i do that to but i wonder what the side effects are.  I bought a new kind today hoping it will work.  Im going for my next shot next thursday hoping it will make a diffrence and at that time i can ask the immunologist for diff types of meds on top of injection and your roght there is not much we can do then try our best to control it.   
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    • Posted

      Hi Rose, 

      I have self-medicated based on evidenced-based medicine w/citirizine 40 mg twice daily but my doctor got scared of the dose and put me on levocitirizine 5mg bid. The levociritizine initially worked until my steroid was lowered to 25mg daily then hives returned. I found a happy medium where I take citirizine 20mg plus levociti 5mg twice daily. I take twice the standard dose 300 mg vs 150 mg twice daily of ranitidine (Zantac) in the USA. For breakthrough hives, the 1st-gen antihistamines (AH) work best for me if alternated every 3-4 hours - hydroxyzine 50mg then benadryl 50mg 3-4 hr later around the clock since the hives are due to the release of histamine from mast cells, monocytes or basophils. Other white blood cells release prostaglandins which cause the angioedema (swelling) as part of the larger inflammatory response; steroids prevent the angioedema. Unfortunately, it is all cause and effect. Got hives- get antihistamines or rid of the causative agent if known. Got worsening hives with angioedema not responding with AH alone - add a steroid to the mix but keep the AH going. Nonsedating drugs are highly recommended for obvious reasons and/or 2nd-gen AH to get effective relief.

      Only side effects I have experienced is dry mouth but that's mostly with doxepin and 1st-gen AH drugs taken q3-4 hr. I chew gum and drink tea when that happens. I will take dry mouth over hives any day of the week. I mostly take 1st gen AH at night time b/c I am weaning off evening time steroids. I hate waking up itching when the hives return.  My sleep schedule got messed up with all the drugs but I'm dealing with it since my work schedule is flexible as an RN.

      If I didn't get relief with the drugs I'm on, I would have tried Allegra or Xyal as nonsedating AH; however, I've been on the majority of these drugs for my hayfever over the last decade and they stopped working. But hives is different from hayfever so I would invest in a different drug to see if it helped. Unfortunately, it's all trial and error. Get a comprehensive metabolic panel done every 3-4 months to check your liver and kidney function while on all the meds. Hope this helps. 

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    • Posted

      Yes it does really help thank you.  I tried new AH today and it helped.  What is 1 st gen ah.  Im not going ti be afraid to take to much now.  I dont care hives is the worse.  R u on a low histamine diet or you eat what you want? 
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    • Posted

      I am not being disrespectful, but I believe patient need to do the work when diagnosed with illness. I'm not sure how old you are or what your educational level is, but if you can get on the internet then you need to educate yourself about hives, its treatment and the drugs used. No one is gonna care about your health than you are and ignorance is not bliss. Use credible sites like national or American Allergy Association .org or .edu sites.

      I wasn't gonna respond to your post b/c you need to Google stuff  (use a dictionary) on your own (called research) but this is from another post I wrote: You know what 1st and 2nd means right? Therefore, 1st gen (1st manufactured decades ago) like that classic Benadryl but all 1st gen can cause sedation.  Allegra, Claritin, Xyxal, or Zyrtec are 2nd gen (invented more recently after 1st gen) and do not cause sedation so many providers recommend these 1st. 

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  • Posted

    Thank you Roseanne, I have had hives daily now since the beginning of January. It is awful, I wake up itchy and go to bed itchy and I am just so tired. My lips and one eyelid swell and this doesnt subside for over 24hrs. I feel like everyone is staring at me at work wondering if I have had a dodgy botox injection or something. I feel constantly uncomfortable and am finding it difficult to concentrate -I have a stressful job which is made worse by these hives. I have been to the GP and to my dismay he said there was nothing I could do other than take antihistamines which barely relieve the symptoms. I am so glad you have found and shared some alternatives - I will try the vitamin D and ask to be referred to a dermatologist as soon as possible.

    Wishing you all the best and hope that one day the itching stops for good - Ollie

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    • Posted

      Hey there Ollie,

      I'll just tell you to read what I wrote above to Roseanne. If it is truly hives/urticaria then step one is to block histamine release with any type of histamine. I also use H2 blockers or the antacid ranitidine. I take the drugs around the same time daily and I don't fear taking too much antihistamine. Working with patients that have overdosed on antihistamines (suicidal), I have yet to see a patient acutally damage their liver or kidneys from benadryl, etc. Avoid excessive alcohol while taking these drugs-because that might damage the liver. Get the steroids and go from there.

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