Discussions that mention zyrtec

Allergies board

On Feb. 3 of this year I awoke covered in hives and itching like crazy. I'd been exposed to nothing new. Since then, I've continued to have flares. My initial reaction was that I was having a reaction to one of the meds I was on (even though I've been on them for years -- one can develop and allergy to something that hasn't created a problem in the past.) However, after eliminating the meds, one at a time for a month, they appear not to be the problem.

I've seen my primary physician, an allergist (went through all kinds of testing), and a dermatologist. The final diagnosis: chronic idiopathic (of unknown cause) urticaria. I've been told that about 85% of the people with chronic hives never uncover the cause. Chronic is defined as having them for more than 6 weeks.

Chronic hives can suddenly subside as quickly as they appeared, they can last for months or years. (Oh, joy!)

When at the hives/internal itching are at their worst, no antihistamine provides relief... for me it's just been grin and bear it.

The dermatologist explained that this is a chronic condition which requires regular medication to suppress the release of histamine. So I am now taking 10 mg of Zyrtec and Claritin daily even though I'm not currently in a flare. The idea is to keep "ahead" of the hives to prevent another flare. So far, so good. I still have occasional itching but haven't had an outbreak of hives in about 3 weeks now.

I'm just hoping that at some point, I'll be totally symptom free and can wean off the antihistamines.