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Relief from chronic hives--finally!
beachcroft posted:
I've had chronic hives for years. Sometimes they last for just days, usually months; also included angioedema. I am NOT allergic to anything but myself. I had a blood test which revealed I have something called 'high affinity epsilon receptor'. You should ask your immunologist to test you for this; it's a kind of auto-immune problem, thus, the usual over-the-counter drugs (claritin, zyrtec, etc.) don't work for me. It took my dermatologist to finally help me! I took prednisone for three weeks--the first week 60mg, second week 40mg, third week 20mg. After the first day, the hives disappeared, and stayed gone for 4 months. After that, they re-appeared, but not as bad, so I didn't have to take the prednisone regiment again. Lastly, they came back a week ago for only two days. I'm keeping my fingers crossed. This may not work for everyone, but it's worth talking to your doctor. Good luck to everyone who is suffering.
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Michael H Land, MD responded:
Dear Beachcroft,

Thanks for your comments. You describe a condition called chronic urticaria and the blood test that allergists/immunologists sometimes order is looking for an antibody against the high affinity IgE receptor. This is an autoantibody that is sometimes seen in patients with chronic urticaria. Some patients with this type of hives could have relief from antihistamines, and some may need more powerful therapies like taking oral steroids as you have done.

However, it may be to your benefit to discuss with your physicians (dermatologist or allergist) the possibility of trying steroid sparing agents, so that you may not need to take oral steroids that often. Most allergists would not consider the steroid courses as an optimal long term treatment for chronic hives, so it is quite likely that choosing a more long-term treatment will be the next thing they will want to discuss with you. Long term steroid use can have some detrimental effects, so I hope you don't have to use them that often.

Best of luck,

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