ok, so i have been reading this board for months and it was so great to know that i wasn't strange and that other people had these hives for no apparent reason. i'm going to tell you my story and then i'll tell you the meds my allergist put me on that have gotten me to 98% hive free!
in the fall of 2004 i started having swollen and itchy eyelids. i thought it was from a 2nd cat i had just adopted but that seemed weird b/c i had never had problems with the 1st cat. i went to visit my parents at the end of december and woke up the 1st morning i was there w/ my right eye swollen shut! so, i went to the allergist that my father uses and he told me it was periorbital angioedema and prescribed clarinex every a.m. and zyrtec every p.m. it seemed to work!
the next week i was on vacation and started getting red itchy spots on my hands, then my feet, then my ankles, then my arms, and etc. until it moved around my entire body. i thought it was bugbites and then when it spread i thought i was allergic to one of the meds the doctor put me on so i stopped taking them and the next a.m. my left eye was swollen shut and the hives hadn't gone away at all! as you all know, i was miserable!
when i came back from vacation i started keeping a log of what gave me hives, it was cold, anything tight that i wore (my bra???), and exercise mostly. plus i'd wake up in the a.m. and have those surprise hives. anyway, a few weeks after that i did this really intense workout and got hives EVERYWHERE, chin to toes. then my period started and they got worse and worse and worse b/c they just stayed put and didn't travel around like the others had.
so i started on prednisone and even then i still had hives! my allergist diagnosed me w/ chronic urticaria (b/c i had the angioedema for so long) and told me that i am "unstable at the cellular level." so, over the course of the past couple of months my allergist and i have experimented and found something that works for me. i'm on claritin, zyrtec and 600mg of zantac per day. when i was just on those i still had hives, not as bad as they had been but they were still there and still ithcy.
a lot of you have mentioned those meds BUT i haven't read anything on this board about Accolate. ACCOLATE is an asthma drug actually (i don't have asthma), it is non-steroidal, and it blocks a different class of histamines than claritin/zyrtec and zantac. i don't know why it worked but it did. within 2 weeks my hives were mostly gone. i'll still get one here and there. when i have my period i get a few extra but they are bearable and actually respond to cortisone cream or something and stop itching. so, if you haven't already tried it ask your doctor!
also, and i think i have read about this on here, my allergist had told me that if the accolate didn't work we were going to try doxeprin. it's an antidepressant that works as a great antihistamine too but it can make you really sleepy and gain a lot of weight. luckily the accolate worked for me but it's always good to have options.
for those of you who want my exact dosage info, here it is:
claritin - 20mg
zantac - 300mg
accolate - 20mg
zyrtec - 10mg
zantac - 300mg
accolate - 20mg