Urticaria Information

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Urticaria is the medical term for chronic hives. Generally, these hives will appear either red, white, or even purplish welts that are raised from the skin causing bumps. When scratched, some hives will bleed while others will ooze a clear or white material. Hives are not necessarily constant, although they may be, and often disappear as quickly as their onset.

It is not unusual for hives to appear become a nuisance for a few weeks, and then to disappear again for a few weeks. Some patients can actually predict when their hives will appear, as they come with nearly clock-like precision. Others can predict when their hives will appear based on the events of their life, such as right before and during their menstrual cycle, before any type of nerve racking event, and when they are becoming ill. Others have no idea when or why their hives appear, they only know that they will.

For most patients that suffer from urticaria, there is never an identified cause. There are obvious triggers in many cases, but an actual cause remains unfounded. Some patients experience hives as an indicator of other diseases. Thyroid diseases, lupus, and many other autoimmune problems are linked to the onset of hives. Treating the disease often assists with the hives, but it may not necessarily alleviate them.

Hives can also indicate an allergic reaction. A patient who is allergic to shell fish, for example, may only experience hives after eating shrimp or crab. In these cases, urticaria becomes very easy to treat.

Symptoms of hives vary nearly as much as the sufferer’s cause. Hives generally tend to appear red, or white, swollen, and are almost always in the form of distinctive round wheals. Some hives are large while others are quite small. Some hives appear in the form of large itchy reddened patches instead of perfect little circles. It is not uncommon for the hives to alter shape during their span. One hive will generally last between 4 to 36 hours. As the hive disappears, there is usually another one forming or already formed to take its place.


Just under half of the population that suffers from urticaria also suffers from angioedema. Angioedema is similar to hives and usually accompanies a break out. Swelling and tender redness swells along the face, near the eyes or lips, throughout the genitals, on the hands or the feet, and sometimes within the trachea. A breakout of angioedema can be life threatening if the swelling causes the airway to close. By definition, the cause of hives is contributed to the skin’s natural tendency to release histamine and other chemical combinations into the blood stream by specific skin cells known as the mast cells. The skin reacts by swelling and reddening. The small blood vessels leading into the skin then leak minutely. This is the most that medical science understands of chronic hives. Why some people are prone to the actual hive when other simply absorbs the excretions is not understood. With the exception of being able to identify about 10% of the cases of urticaria (foods, medicines, and specific allergens) over 85% of the cases remain a mystery to the physician and the patient for life.

There are several risk factors associated with urticaria, including family history of either hives, chronic hives, or angioedema, gender (women are more susceptible than men,) a history of allergic reactions that appear in other forms, have had hives once before, age (older adults are more likely to develop urticaria than younger adults or teens,) or the presence of diseases that facilitate hives including but not limited to lupus, thyroid conditions, and lymphoma.

Diagnosing urticaria often involves journaling daily activities and symptoms over the course of three to four weeks. This journaling should indicate foods eaten and drink consumed, herbal supplements, medication, exercise habits, and the presence of hives, the length of one single hive’s presence, and the surrounding events. When it has been determined that journaling can not indicate a common identifying factor, blood tests, allergy tests, and medical tests to rule out the presence of disease are then typically conducted.

Hives, whether chronic or a one time event, can cause the throat to swell and create a serious, life threatening condition. Patients who experience this phenomenon should seek immediate medical assistance. Alternatively, hives can indicate the presence of anaphylactic shock, which is an intense allergic reaction associated with severe symptoms, even death. Patients who experience any type of difficulty breathing associated with hives should report to the emergency room or call for an ambulance immediately.

The most obvious method of treatment for those who can identify the cause of their hives is avoiding the triggers, if at all possible. Most patients will not have this luxury and are more likely to benefit from antihistamine medications, oral corticosteroids, low dose tricyclic antidepressants, epinephrine, and other medications currently under evaluation for their impact on urticaria.

Urticaria medications for sale



120mg, 180mg, 30mg
Allegra, which is generically prescribed as fexofenadine, is commonly used to treat the symptoms of allergies. It blocks the histamine that causes itching, watery eyes, runny nose, sneezing, and coughing. It is a member of the family of medication known as antihistamines, and can also be used to treat the skin itching and hives associated with idiopathic urticaria.


Claritin, also known as Alavert, Claritin, and Claritin Reditab and generically known as loratadine, is used as antihistamine to prevent or lessen the symptoms of allergies such as runny nose, watery eyes, sneezing, hives and itching. The tablet form of Alavert, Claritin and Claritin Reditab is white in color and the syrup form can be clear to light yellow in appearance.


Compazine is the brand name for prochlorperazine, a versatile drug used to treat several different illnesses. It is given to control severe nausea and vomiting, including that which is caused by chemotherapy and radiation therapy. It is also used to treat some mental illnesses, especially schizophrenia and anxiety. It is available in tablets, capsules, syrup, injections and suppositories.


20mg, 40mg
Pepcid, generically know as famotidine prescription strength tablets, is used for short-term treatment and prevention of ulcers, gastreosphageal reflux disease (GERD) and pathological hypersecretory conditions. Pepcid is a member of the family of medicines known as histamine receptor antagonists. In its over-the-counter form, this drug only can offer relief and prevention for the symptoms of sour stomach, acid indigestion and heartburn. Pepcid stops the production of histamine which stimulates the stomach to produce acid. It should be expected that there will be additional lab monitoring and follow ups visit to determine the medication’s effectiveness.


Periactin, which is generically known as cyproheptadine, is an antihistamine. Periactin is commonly used treat runny nose, watery eyes, itchiness, sneezing, hives and other symptoms of seasonal allergic reactions and symptoms of the common cold. This medicine can also be used to stimulate appetite in underweight patients; however, it should be noted that this treatment has not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Periactin can come as a small, white tablet or may it distributed in its liquid form.


10mg, 25mg, 75mg
Sinequan is also generically prescribed as doxepin and otherwise prescribed as Adapin. Sinequan is commonly used to treat depression as well as anxiety which is typically associated with alcohol withdrawal, manic depressive disorders, and serious psychiatric conditions. Sinequan is tricyclic antidepressants which affect the chemicals in the brain that are believed to be off balance in these conditions. It is vital that a patient who is beginning a tricyclic antidepressant is carefully monitored to avoid the development of suicidal thoughts or behaviors. While these behaviors can occur at any time during treatment, it is most prevalent during the initial 12 weeks of treatment.


10mg, 5mg
Zyrtec, which is generically prescribed as cetirizine, is commonly used to treat the symptoms of allergies, such as runny nose, cough, sneezing, itchy, watery eyes, tearing, and hives. Zyrtec is an antihistamine. Antihistamines block the reaction that histamines cause in people allergic to them.