How are Hives Treated?
One of the more common questions that we come across is how are hives treated? The treatment for hives is generally symptomatic. Benadryl is not useful for hives that are already present, but is effective in preventing further reactions. Some of the side effects of Benadryl include drowsiness and lethargy. Frequently, steroids or epinephrine are also needed to combat allergic reactions that are already happening.
If a specific allergen has been identified in the history, this should be eliminated. Acute hives are typically treated with antihistamines like Benadryl, chlorpheniramine, cyproheptadine or hydroxyzine. Newer antihistamines with less sedation like Zyrtec, Claritin and Allegra can be tried. Vigorous rubbing of the skin should be avoided. How are hives treated? For chronic hives, avoidance of aspirin and products containing food additives can be recommended. An elimination diet can be tried (separate handout). For recalcitrant hives your doctor may try the off-label use of montelukast (Singulair) or antihistamine receptor 2 blockers like ranitidine (Zantac). An allergist can be helpful.
How are hives treated in the clinic or emergency room?
In clinic or ER situations occasionally shots of antihistamine or steroids will be used. Rare life-threatening situations which involve airway closure and wheezing in addition to hives require adrenalin and close observation. The latter are called anaphylactic reactions and are almost always rapid-onset within minutes of exposure to an allergen such as a bee sting.
Avoidance of the foods, drugs, or other provoking factors is recommended whenever possible and one of the answers to how are hives treated.
Other antihistamines such as Zyrtec, Allegra, Clarinex or Claritin, hydroxyzine (Atarax), diphenhydramine (Benadryl), and pyribenzamine are helpful but may cause sedation. Zantac (rantidine) is also sometimes helpful. Hydroxyzine is especially effective for the treatment of cholinergic urticaria. Cyproheptadine (Periacitin) is used to treat cold-induced urticaria. Allstop ProEcza and Allstop Poison Ivy Healing Gels are both highly effective products in treating hives; they both relieve the itch and they also heal the swelling, inflammation and irritation of the skin
If the hives do not respond to the antihistamines, many allergists will utilize corticosteroid drugs, such as prednisone, which are given in conjunction with the antihistamines. Most patients will improve with steroid treatment, physicians say, but if possible they should be avoided for chronic use. Nevertheless some patients require them. After a suitable interval, the individual can then discontinue use of the steroid drugs, since long-term therapy is not recommended. At that time, continued treatment with antihistamines is suggested until they are no longer necessary. In severe acute cases, where angiodema is involved, adrenalin injections may be necessary to alleviate the swelling. Hereditary angiodema can be effectively treated with male hormones, researchers have found.
There are several treatment of hives either form the natural remedy or from any drug available. Whatever possible, the underlying cause should be found and eliminated first.
This should answer your question to how are hives treated.