Hives Urticaria - How much antihistamine?

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I've had hives for almost a year now. The only thing that reduces the itch is Triamcinoline Acetonide 0.1% cream. If I apply the cream to my legs and arms for 2 weeks, the hives (which can get as bad a big red pussy patches) and the sores disappear. When I stop, they first start on my ankle area, travel up my leg, then start on my forearms, and finally on my back. I've tried an elimination diet with no luck. Vitamin B's didn't help.

The dermatologist took a culture which was negative. The dermatologist prescribed Hydroxyzine HCL 10 mg with taken once a day along with antihistamine Cetrizein Hydrochoride 10mg (Zyrtec). The antihistamine cocktail does not stop the hives. I also tried the hydroxyzine with Chlorpheniramine Maleate 4mg and loratadine 10 mg (Claritin). This didn't stop the hives either. 

I'd prefer to get off the Triamcinoline because it thins the skin. Has anyone had any luck with increasing the antihistamine dosage or using a different antihistamine? Has anyone experiences bad side effects from doubling/tripling any of the antihistamines I've listed above?

Many thanks for your replies.

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  • Posted

    Allegra works best for me.  Try one in the evening and 1 in Morning.  I also have to be on low dose of Prednisone this past year....ranging from 1 mg to 5 mg per day with the Allegra.  I am 66 and have had the Urticaria 3 times in my lifetime with decades of no hives in between.  This time it's been difficult to go into remission...maybe because of my age.  I've been told you can go up to 4 Allegra a day.

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  • Posted

    I highly highly suggest you get your hormones checked. I had hives for a long time and nothing helped. My allergist suggested I see an endocrinologist and that was it!! My body was creating too much testosterone and it made my body create so much histamine. I was covered head to toes in hives. As soon as I started taking Spironolactone, my hives subsided. I only get a few small ones here and there during my monthly cycle but thankfully that’s it. I had tried all the drugs my dermatologist had said, cocktails I’d them even...pills are not good. Please, see a hormone specialist. I had a mild P.C.O.S. problem. Hope you get some relief! 
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  • Posted


    I had hives for 3 1/2 years that never went away. Tried every antihistamine under the sun. No topical creams worked for me. I tried steroids for many months, xolair shots which worked for about 5 months  and finally ended up taking dapsone for about a year before that stopped working. 

    What finally helped me was to get a food sensitivity test.  It showed a delayed reaction to many foods that I was eating. Once I cut those foods out, I’ve been hives free. It would have been impossible to do an elimination diet because there were so many things that came up positive.  I break out 48 hours after eating something I shouldn’t. Impossible to detect since you don’t just eat 1 food in 2 days. 

    I’ve been hives free for just over a year now. What I can tell you is that you have to try and research every option (whether it’s homeopathic treatments, acupuncture, hormone tests or food sensitivity testing). It has been my experience that doctors just want to throw drugs at you instead of fixing the root cause of the problem.  Every hive case is different unfortunately. 

    One thing that worked for my itching was ice on the skin as well as melaleuca/tea tree oil mixed with cetaphil cream (not the lotion).  I carried a little mixture with me and would put it on throughout the day. Good luck and I hope you find the cause of your urticaria. 

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  • Posted

    Just be careful with antihistamines like Cetirizine. Read up on cetirizine withdrawal. Many people have had itching and hives from taking this antihistamine. You’d need to be sure your symptoms aren’t because of that. Hormonal would be my next advice plus allergies. I appear to have a tree pollen allergy for the first time at 50 and my legs and face and scalp itch. 
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  • Posted

    Stress can also be a trigger for hive breakouts.  After three stressful time happened in my life is when I broke out...each time the Urticaria lasted about 2 years then just went away.....

    Not easy to diagnose that is for sure.  I am seeing my specialist Wednesday and will ask about the hormones and testosterone level.

    so glad for these blogs!

    have a great day everyone!


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  • Posted

    Thanks for the comments folks.

    Re food allergies: When I had hives in 2010, it was after a triple round of antibiotics. After 6 months of hives that almost drove me to suicide, the only response my GP game me was "you'll probably have them for life". Somehow I came a cross an article by German doctors who said it could be due to Candida yeast infection. My hives disappeared after I eliminated all sugars and starch foods (I also said goodbye to my GP). 

    Re stress: I took a month off work and hives still present. B vitamins didn't help either.

    Update on antihistamines: 

    - Tried Loratadine (Claritin) 3/day 10mg each. Hives got worse.

    - Presently using Fexofenadine (Allegra) 3/day 180 mg each. Hives not getting worse, but not getting better.

    I was told by a nurse friend that there are different types of antihistamines: H1 and H2 receptor blockers. I'm going to figure out next which of the antihistamines are H1 and H2. My hope is that I'm taking the wrong type.


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  • Posted

    Update: I switched from Fexofenadine (Allegra) to Diphenhydramine (Benadryl) but after two days the hives were so bad that I had to go back on the steroid cream. I wonder if there was rebound like Cetirizine produces? Anyhow. I'll try Diphenhydramine once I tame the hives down. I've attached some pics.

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