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  • Posted

    Standard treatment is high dosage non-sedating anti-histamines, like Loratadine. Or better again, I found Fexofenadine a bit better than most, but they didn't really work all that well for me even on 4x dosage. Apparently that works for about 50% of people.

    For me, Gabapentin helps a lot with the itching and the insomnia and anxiety the itching was causing. I take 300mg 3 times a day. Prescription only, but if insomnia from itching severe, I think it can help a lot.

    I also use mentol gel (1% Deep Freeze) at night if the itching prevents me falling asleep or wakes me up. You can get that over the counter in the pharmacy.

    Before I started that, it was Doxepin, an old sedating tricyclic antidepressant which is also a really effective antihistamine. That also worked but was heavily sedating and I felt like a zombie almost all day. Gabapentin wears off quicker and is easier to function more normally with. There's also Atarax, but that's less effective than Doxepin or Amitryptaline but also very sedating. Tried ordinary anti-depressants for the itching too and that also helped, especially if the hives / itching are causing you distress or anxiety.

    For the hives, I found mine was physical (triggered by cold - rain, wind, cold water, sweat cooling after exercise). So avoiding the physical triggers helped a bit. But, mine also flares if I catch colds or a virus. I did try immunosuppresants, Ciclosporin and Mycophenolate Mofitil . They worked for the hive severity (a bit less effective for itching), but unfortunately I got pretty ill on both. (flu-like exhaustion and multiple infections, respectively). You should maybe examine if there is a particular physical trigger or not. Common triggers are heat, pressure, cold. (from personal experience I'd also add extreme stress or infection to the list of triggers, even if they aren't the primary cause - they can exacerbate)

    But you could see an immunologist, if higher dose anti-histamines don't work for you. immunosuppresants might work fine for you. Along those lines, there is also Methotrexate, Dapsone and a few other options immunologists or dermatologists can use. I'd possibly look to get referred to an experienced consultant in this area. GPs can do relatively little for hives, it's a tricky autoimmune problem requiring specialist knowledge to manage and treat.

    I've also done UVB phototherapy treatment, where you visit a clinic a couple of times a week for a short even burst of strong UVB light under controlled conditions (slowly increasing exposure time over weeks/months) . That seemed to reduce itching hives too, though it's quite time consuming and can itself cause mild skin discomfort, dry skin etc...

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  • Posted

    Hello and welcome Mrs Hoag. Do you have any idea what caused your itching? That might help you to decide what steps to take.

    Anti histamines help with urticaria/itching but if it was caused by new soap powder for example, just removing the trigger might be enough.

    I always found that Piriton was very effective but it does have a side effect of drowsiness.

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  • Posted

    It's autoimmune usually. Sometimes it can be triggered physically (hot, cold, pressure) but usually it happens without explanation (so called spontaneous or idiopathic). It can start after an infection (e.g. proper flu, respitory infection). For me, it was Flu, then Chronic Sinusitus then the Hives came out of nowhere when I recovered and went for a walk outside on a very cold day. But even now, if I catch even a common cold, the hives flare.

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