Chronic hives shouldn’t control your life, yet most people with chronic spontaneous urticaria do not have good control of their symptoms.1 But there are effective treatments that can clear itch and hives and prevent any associated swelling.2
Studies have shown that chronic spontaneous urticaria, if not controlled, or only partially controlled, has a major impact on the quality of sleep and the social and working lives of individuals.3-5
There is no cure for chronic spontaneous urticaria. The goal of treatment is to control or suppress symptoms and to continue treatment until the symptoms are completely gone.2
The most common treatments for chronic spontaneous urticaria are antihistamines. There are also other medications that your doctor can prescribe.
- Antihistamines are the first line of treatment and work by neutralising the histamines released by mast cells which have been activated by your immune system.6 Your doctor may try different types and different doses to control the symptoms.
- Around 50% of people won’t respond to antihistamines. In these cases another medication may be prescribed.
- There are effective treatments. To receive some of these, you need to be in the care of an immunologist or dermatologist. Speak to your GP about a referral to an urticaria specialist.
Adherence to medication is important for control of your symptoms, and although it won’t cure the disease it can help improve your quality of life.2
Many people stop treatment when their symptoms disappear, but any medication should be used according to how your doctor prescribed it and is important for long-term management of your condition.
Explore on this siteChronic spontaneous urticaria (hives) Incidence of chronic hives in children
Locate a specialistAustralasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA) Skin & Cancer Foundation Australasian College of Dermatologists
- Maurer M et al. Clin Exper Allergy 2017; 47:684-692.
- Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy. ASCIA HP Position Paper Chronic Urticaria Guidelines 2020. Available from https://allergy.org.au/images/stories/pospapers/ASCIA_HP_Position_Paper_CSU_2020.pdf Accessed August 2021.
- Maurer M et al. Allergy 2017; 72: 2005-2016.
- Mendelson M et al. J Dermatol Treat 2017; 28:229-236.
- O’Donnell BF et al. Br J Dermatol 1997; 136:197–201.
- Vestergaard C and Deleuran M. Ther Adv Chron Dis 2015; 6:304–313.