What is the role of antihistamines in the treatment of acute urticaria (hives)?

Updated: Mar 21, 2018
  • Author: Henry K Wong, MD, PhD; Chief Editor: Michael A Kaliner, MD  more...
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Antihistamines are the primary agents used to treat urticaria. [11] The older, first-generation H1 antagonists (eg, diphenhydramine, hydroxyzine) are effective in reducing the lesions and pruritus but can produce a number of adverse effects, such as drowsiness, anticholinergic effects, and cognitive effects, which may continue until the next day. [50] Thus, these agents can be useful if administered at bedtime.

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