What is the role of corticosteroids 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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In some instances of acute or chronic urticaria, antihistamines may fail, even at high doses, or adverse effects may be problematic. In addition, mediators other than histamine may be involved. In such situations, corticosteroids can be highly effective. Corticosteroids may also be used in urticarial vasculitis, which usually does not respond to antihistamines.

The EAACI/GA2LEN/EDF/WAO management guideline recommends the use of corticosteroids only in severely affected patients. [48, 49]

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