First of all I have to say I feel your pain and frustration. I'm 35 and I've been dealing with hives since I was 18. At 18 I had hives for four months, the cause was never found, and they went away. I had another episode five years ago which lasted about five months (head to the bottom of my feet). They never found the cause then either. And now I'm going through it again. This time it started in May. I sought the help of an allergist who put me on Zantac 150mg BID, Allegra 180mg BID, Zyrtec 10mg QD and a course of prednisone.
Prednisone is the only drug that works but the Allergist doesn't want me to take this everyday (for obvious reasons). I saw him last week to talk to him about other alternative drugs because nothing is working. He put me on Xyzal. I was told that it's new here but they've been using it in Europe for some time. I've been taking it for four days now. It hasn't stopped the hives completely but I'm giving it some time and praying every time I put one in my mouth.
I should mention that those people who have been suffering with hives for months test positive for antibodies against their mast cells (mast cells release histamine). This is a new test and it suggests an autoimmune process rather than an allergic one, but the treatment stays the same. The doctors treat the symptoms but not the cause. They're not that savvy yet. Also some test positive for antibodies against their thyroid. If the TSH is elevated also this could be Hashimoto's thyroiditis, another autoimmune disorder, which has hives as a symptom.
Diane, have you ever had yourself tested for food allergies??? I did a couple of months ago and found several, since I have made a very concerted effort to elimate these food items (eggs, milk, yeast, etc) from my diet my hives have almost completely disappeared. I tried for my son's wedding to eat just a small piece of cake and lo and behold HIVES. I looked like I had been attacked by bees. If I stay within my diet restrictions I am a much happier, less itchy person. It might be worth a try.
I have hives on and off my whole life. I just turned 40. The Prednisone does work for me, but I don't want to take it anymore (for obvious reaons) The doctor does know that mine is caused by certain lotions, detergents, and crams I put on my skin. He figured that out a long time ago, when I was 20...The chemistry of lotions and other things such as soaps change on a regular basis. Also, they have discovered I am allergic to latex....when I wore latex gloves in a setting I worked in...hives all over my hands. I am now giving the XYZal a chance. I hope it works...makes me a little sleepy, but it is worth it not to be itching. I really am fortunate in having a great doctor. He has tried several meds with my case, but I am trying to not have a lot of meds in my system. I hope this will work.
Hi, I'm Andre (38) from Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Here Xyzal is prescribed by doctors since 2001 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xyzal), (http://www.xyzal.com/).
I'm using it since two years now because of allergy of particles in the air (like dust) upon inhaling. It works very well (I feel about 90% better) and I have no side effects.
It says it is effective against hives as well.
Also I saw these advertisements: www.hivotin.com and www.hivotab.com
I really hope your problems will improve.
I live with hives every day. And have done so for a long time.I have severe allergies and vocal cord wheezing. I have been getting allergy injections for 38yrs. I have tried almost every OTC and Rx allergy med.The CAUSE is the key. My hives are generally caused from my allergies. But the vocal cord wheezing is from BOTH allergies and GERD.
I have been taking the Xyzal for about a week. I do not see a difference. I still need to take Benadryl through out the day. I also tried the Zyrtec - seemed to last about 12hrs as well. One did not seem any better than the other. Its like the Claritin going to Clarinex.
If it is a PRESSURE issue, antihistamines may not help at all. You need to lessen the pressure. Is it an ELASTIC issue? I also have MANY environment issues - including Latex. If it is an reaction to elastic, it could explain why the Prednisone worked. If I have a severe enough reaction (but not enough to make me go to the hospital), steroids is the only thing that will help.
As for antihistamines: 6hr meds last about 3hrs, 24hrs meds might last 8-12hrs and 12hr meds about 6-8hrs. The allergy injections have helped greatly. I am no longer sick 3 months of the year.
Good Luck - I am still looking for answers myself. I am now happy if I don't have anaphylactic reactions with my shots, foods or environment.