Chronic Idiopathic Urticaria Community
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Avatar universal

Prednisone and Hives

I have been suffering from hives for 6 months.  Right now I am out of town on business and have hives on arms, inner thighs, and hands.  These are the big ones that don't itch as much as they hurt.  I have taken Benadryl and  Prilosec which is a histamine 2 antagonist.  I have 10 mg Prednisone tabs with me but the directions are to take 40 mg for angioedema and gradually decrease dosage.  I know that if I take this dosage I will be up all night but am really uncertain about how much I should take.  Using Aveeno to sooth the welts with minimal effect.  I empathize with anyone going through this experience.  Any suggestions appreciated.  Am thinking of thinking an immunologist since the allergist was absolutely no health.  Or as I read somewhere a physician would rather see an elephant in his office than a patient with hives.


40 Responses
Avatar universal
i understand your frustration.  I have been on prednisone for about 3months now. Have had mild case of chronic hives for 1.5years but last 3months have been hell.  My hives are similar to yours, don't itch but they sting.  If you can cover them up and can stand the pain, I say hold off on the prednisone. Take combination of antihistamines...claritin in the morning, benedryl at night, etc. If they itch but you don't mind the way they look, put the cortisone cream stuff.  If they itch/hurt and you don't like the way they look, take the prednisone and go see a doctor.  I see an allergist that my physician referred me to. The allergist has other patients with chronic hives and even had a break out himself so it works out nicely for me.   I hear even a dermetologist can help you as well. But either way, treatment routin is usually 1) antihistamine 2)prednisone 3)if really desperate and long term cyclosporine. I hope that helps.
Be Aware Autoimmune disorders like thyroid and such can cause weak immune systems that will cause reaction that you might not typically react too. Get blood work done!!!
Avatar universal
Oh my gosh...this is my first experience with such hives!  I want to cry.  Everyone keeps looking at me like I'm some kind of freak from the circus and they get away from me like I'm contagious or something.  My dematologist prescribed PREDNISONE 20 mg and I am to take 3 every morning then decrease my dosage within 3 to 4 days.  He also told me I'd be good as new within 24 hours and so far...not so good.  I'm miserable!  I itch all over.  I have hives from neck to toe.  I'm only greatful that I'm able to come to work still and able to close my hands after being swollen for 5 days.  I went to a regular doctor at first and he misdiagnosed my condition as the freakin chicken pox and gave me a prescription for blisters!  After two days of looking at myself and itching I just knew these were some weird looking chicken pox at the age of 26 so I went to see a dermatologist for a second opinion.  Sure enough he prescribed me PREDNISONE and a creme to help the itching.  He promised they'd be gone within 24 hours and I'm getting a little impatient because I just want them to go away!  I was just engaged this weekend and the day after I broke out!  I missed 3 days of work (27 hours) and it's my fiance's birthday this comming Wednesday.  Please someone just tell me everything is going to be okay and that this is going to go away sooner than I think!!!  I don't care...lie to me...anything to keep me from stressing out right now!  I can feel the heat comming to my face...I need to relax.
Avatar universal
I just started having hives last week neck to toe. However, about five years ago, I had them every day for about 3 months. At the time, I thought they would never stop. Like many other sufferers, I tried changing my environment, my diet, and grasped at any possible reason I could find on the Internet. I even became so desperate that I thought I had scabies and tried pesticide cream. I took Benedryll 24-hours a day, even setting my alarm to wake up in the middle of the night to have a dose before the itching starts. Then one day, they stopped for seemingly no reason as quickly as they came. My best advice is to stay on the antihistamines round the clock, keep your fingernails short, and have faith that one day they will just stop. Everything will be okay.
Avatar universal
I to some years ago developed chronic hive from head to toe overnight.
I tried the diets, change of lifestyle, medications, and saw a skin specialist. To no avail. To this day we have never found a cause. I suffered with them 24hours a day big red blotches from head to toe for almost 2 years. They drove me crazy to the point that I thought they were never going to go and there was no total relief except doseing myself up with up to 6 antihistamine pills a day. As most people know make you very drowsy cause the none drowsy ones i became immune to and had to change. I would sleep about 18 hours a day which made life very hard with a toddler. One day though they just went away as quick as they came. I have had a few episodes of them since but at most few weeks. I have found that usually when I am stressed. At the time of having them for nearly 2 years I was in a very unhappy long term relationship and within a month or so of that ending also the hives ended!
I feel for anyone who has hives and my best advice if the doctors can not find the cause is to look at makeing life as little stress free as possible and live as natural as possible and see if that helps.
Best of luck to you all Im sure the answers will find their way to you.
Avatar universal
This is great information. I just developed hives yesterday and it *****. I can't imagine if this lasts much longer but for some reason, I feel like they'll go away soon. Doc put me on Allegra in the morning, Doxepin at night and supposed to start 20mg of Prednisone tomorrow morning. Good luck to all and try to remember, it doesn't matter what they think of your spots, we all have to go through something like this at one point of our lives. Cheers.
1529871 tn?1294065758
Well I guess I'm a newbee...I have been suffering from hives (my dermatologist thinks that is what it is)fof 3 months now.  By the sounds of everyone symptoms, that is what it is.  I want to dye right now!!  I have never felt anything in my life that is more painful, annoying and very ugly..  I scratch constantly (how can you not) to a point where I take fhe layers of skin off and draw blood.  My legs right now are in so much pain that I can't even sctratch anymore but I have the urge to.  I see the dermatologist again tomorrow hoping he can give me some relief but the sounds of all of you...there is not help for this.  There has to be.  I can not go thru this another day.  I cry myself to sleep at night.  I wake up crying.  Someone must know of something to releive this...Please help me I'm desperate!!!!
try a mix of 25 mg of hydroxide every six hours, 10 mg of Zyrtec at night, 10 mg of Claritin in the morning, and  a normal dose of Benadryl everyday. I also take bathes in cool water to help the hives. that and the medicine usually work for me. I get bad hives every year for a week or two multiple times a year. This has worked like magic for me. Hope you feel better
1529871 tn?1294065758
Well I guess I'm a newbee...I have been suffering from hives (my dermatologist thinks that is what it is)fof 3 months now.  By the sounds of everyone symptoms, that is what it is.  I want to dye right now!!  I have never felt anything in my life that is more painful, annoying and very ugly..  I scratch constantly (how can you not) to a point where I take fhe layers of skin off and draw blood.  My legs right now are in so much pain that I can't even sctratch anymore but I have the urge to.  I see the dermatologist again tomorrow hoping he can give me some relief but the sounds of all of you...there is not help for this.  There has to be.  I can not go thru this another day.  I cry myself to sleep at night.  I wake up crying.  Someone must know of something to releive this...Please help me I'm desperate!!!!
Avatar universal
I am another miserable person who happened to out of the blue obtained hives!
Started about 6 weeks ago and I agree they are horrible. My doctor put me on prednisone which after I tood two doses I awoke with the worst case ever. I ended up in the ER and they gave me an additional injection of prednisone and prescribed me Zantac * I haven't needed to pick it up yet/ still at the pharmacy. This was on 12/20 and tonight with my fingers and toes crossed my hives seemed to have vanished.
My recomendation would be to quickly go to the ER and get a shot in your butt of Prednisone. That seems to have helped me. As for why this has happened I can only guess this is due to STRESS. It sure has been a hard year and this month isn't any better.  Good Luck hope you get better soon.
1355118 tn?1298564879
Hi, welcome to the forum, your symptoms are suggestive of urticaria, secondary to exposure to allergen and mediated by IgE antibodies. Your body is known to hypersensitive to certain things.  

Stinging insects, Aeroallergens (uncommon), Foods and additives like Milk, egg, peanuts, nuts, soy, and wheat are the most common agents to cause generalized urticaria in adults.

This triggering factor should be identified and should be avoided. A skin allergy test can be useful. Angioedema should be managed aggressively as larynx may involve and also needs injection Adrenaline in addition to corticosteroids and anti histamine. Prednisolone should not be taken unless advised by doctor. It needs gradual decrease in dose when discontinuing.

Treatment of hives includes anti histaminic and glucocorticoids against prescription. I suggest you to consult a skin/allergy specialist. Take care and regards.

Avatar universal
I've been suffering from chronic hives for 2 yrs., everyday!  I've been on 12 antihistamines a day these last 4 weeks.  Tomorrow they are doing a skin biopsy. I am also on prednisone.  I have heard people with chronic hives can have them everyday for 10 yrs. or more!!  I have scabs and scars from scratching my skin.  I have regular hives and the ones that are deep and hurt.  I sympathize with anybody going through this.  I just want my life back as dramatic as that sounds.  I tell everyone it's like having poison ivy everyday.  Good luck all.
Avatar universal
I understand what you all are going thru. Last fall i woke up in the middle of the night with my head and hands itching. I got back to sleep. In the morning i woke up with red splotches and hives. Mostly in my arm pits and bikini zone since i had just recently shaved. We thought that a wine at a wine party we went to the night before set it off. But also understood it could have been something else. I tried Benadryl for a day or two, but to no avail. So i called the Doc and got in to see them.  She gave me a shot and Prednisone packet. Only 6 days. Great. But as I was leaving, i could feel the hives getting worse, spreading to my ankles now. The doc told me the shot would take effect in about 30 minutes. But it was not. I gave it time anyway, taking the pills and taking the next day off.  That was Weds. Went to work on Thursday and was still itchy. THursday night my eye was buggin me and i thought my mascara was just flaking off. I washed my face and even used eye drops because they hurt.  Then i looked at myself in the mirror. My eyes were puffy, my eye lids were baggy. I looked terrible. I was worried, but didn't yet feel i needed to go to ER. (Hubby was out of town at training).  The next day i tried to brave it at work. Putting make up on was tough.  After a few hours at work the boss told me I should take the rest of day off. Went back to see doc.  She gave me higher doses of the Prednisone as well as Singular (and Zantac for the heartburn/acid reflux the Prednisone causes). The following Tuesday i followed up with the primary doctor (instead of the NP i was seeing). The pills they gave me was for 45 days. I asked if i coud taper off quicker. Because the hives were going away and the side effects were worse than the hives.  They tapered me off in about a week.

Last Weds night i woke up with itchy hands. First instinct was a Benadryl.  Did that for 2 days, then started taking the Prednasone I had left from last time. Not as bad on the hives this time. More itchy and when i scratch (oh, you try not to...it's a natural instinct) I get red and then the welts pop up.  Its calm for a while then flares up again. I've tried putting ice on large flair ups to numb and sooth it so i don't scratch. :)  Called doctors office today to get refill on Prednisone, since i only have a few left and not enough to taper off.  It same time line follows as last time, i should be clear by this Friday.

By the way, we think we have the allergen narrowed down to wine (or a certian winery anyway-which sounds odd), a certain brand of salsa (least likely since i've had that brand lots of times before) or a kind of dryer sheets.  

Once i get rid of this outbreak i will wait a month and then go see an allergist.  I do wonder though if stress is part of it (bought a house, moved in a step child, resently married, new job....you think?)

Any advise on here is good.
Avatar universal
This is lengthy!

For the past 2 months, I have had bad hives, including swelling of my face, lips, and eyelids.  When the hives started, I was going thru a situation at work that was uncomfortable, I've seen the Dr. several times.  I had not had a bad episode for approx 3 years.  At that time, I was finally given a shot, and that really helped, and the hives went away-I took the Prednisone for the weekly pack, and some kind of acid reducer, and Zertec.  This episode that I am now experiencing, I have not received a shot, I was told to take Chlorpheniramine Maleate (I use Sinus Allergy PE), and this seems to work much better than Zantec.  I was put on the Prednisone week pack about 5 weeks ago, and as soon as I was off the pack, the hives came back.  I was then put on 10mg 2x a day for a week, then 10 mg a day.  The hives came back, bad.  I have been on 10mg 2x a day, for past month(?), and also the Chlorpheniramine Maleata, full dose.  Whenever I have to have a direct confrontation at work with my issue, I get the hives bad, my face swelling up.  Tomorrow is my last big confrontation with this issue, and I woke up this morning with hives in my mouth.  I am now convinced that the hives are caused by stress, that is not your normal day-to-day stress that we all deal with.  I feel confident my hives will slowly start to go away after tomorrow.  I hope this helps someone dealing with this, it's hell.  Dr's do not know what to do, and a Specialist probably cannot help either, if it's stress.

I have suffered with hives since I was in my early teens, I am now 49.  In those days a minor tranquilizer was prescribed, and I was prescribed all of the tranquilizers available.  They ended up going away, and then I went to some kind of antihistamine (chlortrimeten?).  I really did not have them for 10+ years, but I did develop psoriasis around the age of 21, when I was pregnant.  This was also very hard to diagnosis, and very bad, for approx 10 years, they cleared up very well, after stopping all the creams I was prescribed.  I went thru a divorce, and not only did the psoriasis become terrible, but I got the hives back, and a kind of acne that only Tetracycline (?) will take away.  Now, after 10+ years of being divorced, and being comfortable in my life.  I rarely get psoriasis, acne about once every 2 months, and hives that aren't that bad about once a month.  When the hives do get bad, I have them on my eye lids, and lips, very obviously.  When the hives moved to my face, I went on a diet that eliminated all food allergies for about a month, then I met a new boyfriend, the hives went away, and I quit the diet.  I've also had problems with scented 'anything' that comes in contact with my body since I was in my 20's, so I do not use them.  

Avatar universal
This is the fourth time in my life that I have had hives.  The first two episodes occurred when I began each semester of University.  The next when I got a new job.  The current one when I started interviewing for a new job.  I now have the new job, but am not sure if I will be able to keep it...all because of my hives.  My hives normally last for about six months and then just disappear.  I started high doses of Prednisone in November and because of the effect they have on my immune system, I have gotten sick twice.  I also gained 14 lbs.  I decided I had enough of the steroids and opted for a homeopathic remedy (my hives are obviously due to stress).  It was working for the most part - more than 90% of the hives gone.  

I feel sad for all of you that have to go through this.  Thanks for listening.

Well, I've been sick for 3 weeks.  At first I was told I had a virus and to just get lots of rest.  I did that - working from home when I am brand new - not good.  Yesterday I found out I do not have a virus - it is a bacterial infection and I have to take antibiotics for 10 days.  I started them yesterday and within a few hours, my entire face had swollen up.  Today, the hives are all over my legs, chest, butt, arms and hands.  My body wants nothing to do with the homeopathic herbs and vitamins that were working so well.  I have to take this medicine to get better and don't want to go back on the steroids.  It is so difficult - some are itchy, but most are very painful.  Just moving my hands around is extreme pain.  I wish I could just take a leave of absence from work and get through this at home.  Assuming I won't have that choice and will have to go back to work soon - I am wondering how many funny looks I am going to get with the hives on my face.  So tempted to wear a scarf, but that will cause just as many stares??
Avatar universal
My 8 year old daughter had hives for 6 months...red welts, swelling, itchy bumps, swelling lip, etc.  The hives just came on one day.  We had all kinds of testing done to try and determine what it was with her doctor and an allergist, all to no avail.  Based on my extensive research and determination to find out what was causing it as she cried herself to sleep some nights, I wanted to share my information.  First she was taking Zyrtec, this is bad stuff and can cause hives and/or itching as well as eliminate them, feel free to research this stuff on the web...I literally had to ween her from this medication and I am convinced over time it made her extremely itchy and prevented the elimination of hives.  As I weened her I gave claritin to help with the itching, but here is what I truly believed help her become hive free....Probiotics and colostrum (we used 5 LAC and childlife Colostrum w/ probiotics), along with high daily dosage of vitamin C, we used emergen-C.  At first she showed some signs of improvement, but then got worse for a day or two as her body rid itself of the toxins in it.  We stuck to the plan even though it was hard and again she began to show more signs of improvement even better than before for a longer period.  Then another relapse and even better for longer...eventually, her bodys immune system rid whatever was causing the hives and she now has been hive free for a month+.  The process was not quick and took about 3 or so months, but worth it.  She no longer takes any medication.  Do not give up, you can beat Hives too!  Fix your immune system.  One other thing we gave very small amounts on and off was Echinacea, although I am not sure how much this helped.  
Avatar universal
I have swollen eyes and top of nose so I look like a lion, huge red welts and hives and itch like nothing I have ever felt. i am pretty much allergic to everything so i am used to this but this time it is NOT getting better only worse. It actually looks like I have chemical burns where stuff has leaked out of my eyes so under my eyes are purple clack in PERFECT circle. I broke down and found some prednisone in my house and took 20mg. I vowed to NEVER take cortsione again since last time I came off I a,lost killed myslef from the depression. I would tell ALL to saty away from fabric softeners or dryer sheets!! Killer and NO mineral oil ever. I cannot stop scratching and am hiding in my bedroom soa s not to scare my kids friends. i ahve now been locked in here 3 days which is not easy since I own a business! I still have NO idea what caused this one but I may need to go to water diet and reintroduse foods back into my diet until I find the culprit. Nice to know there are others out here with this. Is anybody suffering with the depression that goes along with this??
1710500 tn?1308182246
I, too, am suffering from a miserable outbreak of hives. At age 64, I have gone through my whole life without medical problems until I got married (less than two years ago) to a dear, but very messy, disorganized man and have been getting hives, urinary tract infections, and kidney stones ever since.   His sister kidded me recently that maybe I am allergic to HIM.... her brother/my husband!   I am trying to get him to spend time cleaning out his messy stuff rather than running me to the doctor's for treatment of these ailments which may likely be caused by the piles and piles of messy papers he has sitting around.  I have always been a neat freak who never needed any medical help.   I think it is the stress I am put under by his disorganization and messiness that is causing my health problems.  I love him in many ways..... but am going crazy otherwise!
Avatar universal
I too have suffered from hives for over 10 weeks.  I have seen 4 different doctors, including an allergist, ER physician, ENT, family physician.  I have been on prednisone for 10 weeks.  I have been taking 2 Zyrtec a day; 2 Zantac a day; Atarax 2 every 4-6 hours.  I have determined that mine is related to Red #40 dye and preservatives in foods such as pre-packaged salads.  I have also determined that mine is related to fast food restaurants such as McDonald's and Sonic, where at both restaurants I ingested hamburgers.  With the Sonic Hamburger I ended up in the ER with my throat and tongue swelling.  I have been on an elimination diet and so far so good.  I eat grilled chicken or turkey, white rice, salt, sugar, olive oil, Sprite or water and have introduced steamed vegetables.  It still amazes me that out of the blue this developed.  I learned my lesson by drinking Gatorade which contains Red #40 and resulted in swelling of my lips and face along with hives.

This has been my experience, Hope this helps someone else!
Avatar universal
its so wxpensive to get the allerdy testing to see what im allergic to and they may never find out what ULTRACADIA IS FROM
Avatar universal
Just out of curiosity has anyone checked for bed bugs? I had a friend that moved and since then one child had hives,{ no one else in house was allergic to bed bugs}, so it was assumed she was allergic to something in the house. They would appear to be hives , and seem to come and go, without explination.
Avatar universal
Hi, I have had daily hives and angieoedema for 3 years. Sometimes sparse sometime covered. Small hives, giant hives,  deep painful hives and itchy annoying hives. I've worken up in the morning with my eyes swollen shut or my lip bleeding because my lip was so stretched out it would blister and crack. My cheeks swollen and
hard to my scalp and face itching so much I can't get any sleep. For 3 years. Have been to an allegist and I'm not allergic to anything but
apparently myself. Autoimmune hives, as I have
hashimotos diease which is an autoimmune thyroid condition, where as the antibodies IgE
are apparently high. I tried antihistamines (
atarax,  reactin, benydrl. They never go away and steadily gotten worse. So I finally have given in to predisone to see if they can be irradicated for good. I'm keeping my fingers crossed as the angieoedema is getting more frequent which makes it impossible to go out.Dr. Put me on 50 ME on predisone for 5 days. Everyone seems to be on smaller doses. Hope this works for awhile anyways.
1846907 tn?1319033135
Hello My name is Roberta and I too am suffering with Angieoneurotic edema welts, first I thought I was allergic to my dogs then, bed bugs..lol
Well It is me, I have many foood allergies and I LOVE MONSTER WITH JAGGER well, I think I am allergic to Citrus Acid, Milk , Eggs, and maybe Alcohol.
My symtomes sometimes look like bug bites then they all form one large mass connecting together, red , itchy and raised. The welts I recieve are much more severe, like 20 welts down the crack of my glutts to bottom of my butt..lol So embarrassing..
Then I get them across neck, alwasy more than one like 4 or more. I get them on wrist, inside hands , fingers and same with my feet. It is very painful and I have trouble walking due to the back that Ive got welts like lrge gum balls in between toes and in my arch and pads of feet.  I have only had one welt under lip twice, so knock on wood. I am waiting on bllod test and stopped drinking all forms of alcohol and avoided all known allergens, waiting for results on blood work. I am so scared one day I wont be able to breathe from the welts , maybe in my throat or tounge.
It says people with IBS are sensitive to it too, I have it...
Also Dog dander
What makes this hard for me is since this can be irrotated by stress , it doesnt help anything that I also have Panic Disorder...Dang if I couldnt get a break...lol
Anyways thank you all for suffering with you and I have enjoyed reading all the comments and advice. Wish you all the very best.
Avatar universal
I just broke out with hives after i went to this clinic last weekend for a boil on my bottom after getting a splinter about 6 weeks before. I had also had these bumps on my arms that felt like bug bites. The women at the clinic said she thought i had scabies because of the bumps pattern on my arms. So she gave me antibiotics for the infection(boil) and some cream just incase i had scabies. So i took it the first time and it did nothing, so the doctor said repeat it about a weeks later. The second time i used it that next day i broke out in hives on my face(cheeks, forehead, etc.), arms and a little on my legs. So my mother took me to the emergency room before it got to my tongue. the doctor said there was likely a virus in the clinic and that is where i got the hives from. So he gave me a benedryl shot and prescribed me benedryl pills and i was on my way. Today is the second day of my hives and they have tripled the size as before on my legs, now i have them on my chest, more on my face (lips, nose, etc.), in between my breasts, my stomach and my upper and lower back...some are even on my bottom. It makes me feel dirty and greasy. This is the most uncomfortable feeling i have ever had in my life. Any advice would be greatly appreciated, Thanks.
Avatar universal
Stay strong, I live with this.  Just hope it goes away and is not constant like mine.  I have been diagnosed with Chronic Hives (Urticaria) of unknown origin and I have been getting breakouts for over a year now.  It just started out of nowhere.  I think mine are from stress and when I break out it only gets worse cause I get stressed about the pain, itch and looking like I have big red polka dots.
Avatar universal
   This past spring I went through what I now believe to be hives. I went to the Doctor, well actually went to 2 Drs not counting several trips to the ER each time they told me they thought it was Poison Ivy. I found myself  unable to sleep so I would look up things on internet trying to diagnose. Wish I found this then!! I too thought bed bugs, scabies, measles and much more. It  was terrible but prednisone started clearing it up. one Dr even had me covering myself with calamine lotion, I did look ridiculous a nice shade of light pink from head to toe! Still don't know what caused it and hope to never have it again! And my apologies to my 4 year old twins that got the blame for "playing in poison Ivy" and bringing it to me. LOL!
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