I knew vaguely that steroids were not-to-be-taken-lightly drugs. The treatment worked beautifully, ending the itch and beating down the swelling within a day or two. But you can understand why I was struck by this recent headline from the American College of Emergency Physicians: "Got Hives? He prescribed an over-the-counter antihistamine, Benadryl, and a steroid, prednisone.The better news is that whether you take steroids or not, the risks they'll turn life-threatening are exceedingly low.
Vukmir said the study offers more fodder for a discussion between doctors and patients as they consider the options. And we can try that approach, and I might use a higher dose of the antihistamine.
On the other hand, hives can be a little scary too: They can — rarely — progress to a potentially life-threatening anaphylactic reaction. What does this study mean for the next time you or I see those nasty itchy red bumps breaking out?
First, as always, ask your doctor if you're in any doubt: Is this hives? Editorializing here, but if you can't send a smartphone photo to your primary care office, something's wrong.
The most common symptom in addition to the hives is angioedema (see below), which can occur with hives approximately half of the time.
Most people experiencing hives or angioedema will not experience more life-threatening allergic symptoms.
It got federal approval earlier this year to be sold over the counter.)So maybe, I wondered, I didn't need to take those slightly scary steroids after all?