I'm dealing with a second bout of urticaria in 3 years

Posted , 6 users are following.

Briefly I had just over 6 weeks of daily urticaria in 2015. I was prescribed prednisolone on a tapered dose which had to be repeated a couple of times. I've no idea what caused it. At the time I kept a diary covering how I felt and what I took. Sometime last year I must have thrown it away!

A week ago it started again, I had angioedema as well which resulted in a hospital admission. I was given antihistamine and steroid by IV.

I've got a prescription for prednisolone, 6 a day for 5 days. Then I saw a gp who's given me more. Said 6 for 7 days then taper. I've decided to start tapering off now. But these are the only things that work. It's so bad in the night that I'm taking the steroids in the early hours. I have to spend the morning in bed. I'm ok for a few hours then get worse from late afternoon

So I'm going to start taking 2 cetirizine a day.

My question is when is best time to take antihistamine? Before bed and 12 hours later?

Does anyone have any experience of taking ranitidine, Zantac as well? I read about this overnight.

Sorry for long post. I just want to get this under control.

2 likes, 10 replies

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10 Replies

  • Posted

    My flare ups sound a lot like yours- i go years without them, then have them for4-6 months.  Last time, I took Zantac, Zyrtec, and Benadryl as part of my regimen.  I gave up on the steroids as the bad symptoms outweighed the good they were doing for me.  I haven’t taken two Zyrtec, but I did a Zyrtec in the morning, Zantac throughout the day, and Benadryl at night.
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  • Posted

    Hi I take ranitidine and the same antihistamine as you but I chose to lay off the steroids as I was putting on too much weight. I also take to 2 antihistamines but have been told by my dermatologist that if I need to take more during the day then do so. I’m a bout to take xolair injections on the 26th as I’ve heard great things about this so hoping it gets rid of this for good. I swell up every night and morning it’s awful as we look disfigured. I would ask if you could take more antihistamines to see if this helps. And if you can push for the injections that would be a bonus. I believe you need a score sheet to prove your getting so many hives a week. 
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  • Posted

    Hi Beverly

    my heart goes out to you as I have been there too.  I have been on very low dose of Prednisone for over a year.  I currently am down to 2mg and alternate with 1mg every other day in the morning.  I take 1 Allegra in the evening with Montelukast.  I will do this for another couple of weeks and if no hives I will start taking 1mg Prednisone everyday with Allegra and Montelukast in the evening.  My wonderful doctor ever so slowly weans me off the Prednisone.  If I start to breakout I will increase the Allegra and add Morning dose.  She does this going down by 1mg for weeks at a time as to not shock my body.  I will keep all posted.  Please give Allegra a try as for me Allegra works the best for keeping hives away. I have been hive free for 2 years now.

    Wendy

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  • Posted

    Thanks for your concern. I took the decision to increase the antihistamine myself having done a bit of research and also I'm convinced this happened last time. If only I'd kept my handwritten notes from that that time. Now they're logged more securely. It seems odd being encouraged to take prednisolone with all the side effects and just take one cetirizine. Anyway I've been better this evening so hopefully it's helping. If I can get through the night I will be able to take the reduced steroid dose at a more sensible time and not 3 or 4am. It's so helpful to share all this with people who understand. Thank you

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    • Posted

      Hi Beverly

      how are you doing?  Unfortunately I broke out in hives last night which was disappointing as I hoped I was going into remission.  I will have to take the 2mg Prednisone each day for awhile and I needed to add another Allegra in the morning along with the one at night.  Fortunately the Allegra took away the hives.  I hope you are doing well.

      wendy

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  • Posted

    Hi Beverley,

    My heart really goes out to you. 

    Ive got chronic urticaria and have flare ups every single day. 

    I had it 20 years ago for about a year and then about 3 years ago it came back with a vengence.

    ive been to just about every type of doctor you can imagine.

    we recently moved to Germany and I am seeing a Urticaria Prof here. The problem is that the only thing that works for me is Cortisone. I have been on it since then. He is weaning me off it but now the flare ups are worse.

    the period of time that there was no urticaria, I was on the contraceptive pill. I have been wondering if somehow I could be allergic to my own hormones. Prof can’t check until I’m off cortisone for 3 weeks and I can’t get off cortisone until I can somehow manage the flair ups. I’m taking 40mg rupatadine a day, 20mg’s cortisone and 40 mg Pantoprazol is a drug to line the stomach as cortisone isnt good for my stomach. I’m at wits end here. Thought I would just share and hope someone has some wise words.

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    • Posted

      Hi Andrea

      i hope you can slowly .......very slowly  go down on steroid ( I'm on Prednisone ). As you may have read on my previous blog.  My doctor has me go down on the Prednisone 1mg at a time for a couple weeks then go down another 1mg and so on so your body slowly gets use to less steroids.  For example if you are taking 20mg steroid then go down to 19mg for a couple weeks then 18mg and so on.  I also take an Allegra each night with Montelukast.  I am down to 2 mg currently and was completely hive free but we are going through some stresses in our family right now and ended up breaking out a little so I added another Allegra which is working well...no hives!  Yes I have gone through many 1mg Prednisone !!  Unfortunately Prednisone and Allegra is the only thing that keeps the hives away for me......fortunately the dosage is low on the Prednisone.  I have been on low dose for over 2 years now.  This Urticaria is so difficult......I think it's all immune related.  I have had three breakouts in my lifetime each time lasting about 2 years then gone for decades.......all were around stresses.  This last one was the worst as doctors couldn't treat it ( I am now 66 ) found a great doctor and I was put on Cyclosporine for a time then needed to add the Prednisone both going up extremely slow and going off the same way. How is your doctor instructing you to go down on the steroid?

      Lets keep in touch.

      Wendy

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  • Posted

    Sorry for not coming back sooner. I'm getting this under control a little better now. Basically I'm slowly reducing the prednisolone taking one less every 3 days. I'm taking 2 cetirizine a day. The hives start later and overnight and wake me about 6.00am. About 2 hours after taking the steroids they fade away. The hives aren't so bad, not just one continuous rash now. It's only 2 weeks since it started. I will probably increase the cetirizine but am concerned about getting drowsy as I want to drive and go back to work soon. Not yet taken ranitidine/Zantac. I found a very good utube video by US doctor. I'm going to get the link and post it if anyone interested.

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  • Posted

    Having hives can be unbearable and none of the drugs helped with mine - was on massive doses of antihistamines, zantac, tried every topical treatment to no avail. Had total body hives, 24 hours per day for 8 months, finally referred to get Xolair shots 300mg monthly from July 2016 to Nov 17, then every 5 weeks till Feb 18, trying every 6 weeks. Hives were gone after second shot. Just a suggest but try researching xolair for chronic idiopathic urticaria - might help you as it has me. Good luck
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