A person is hindered in their movement by a huge, massively oversized medication tablet tied around their waist.

Medication for Life?

Last updated: November 2022

Those living with chronic hives struggle with a lack of reliable treatment options. They may find themselves wondering if they will have to keep taking medications to manage their symptoms and flares for the rest of their life.

Chronic hives is unpredictable. It can last for years, or seemingly resolve itself to return later on. This can leave people living with chronic hives weighing the pros and cons of being on medication for the long term.

Do they worry about side effects? Do they trust the process? How do they cope with facing the possibility of taking medication for life? Our health leader team at Chronic-Hives.com weighed in:

Do you worry about being on medication for life with chronic hives? How do you cope?

Reply from Ambre

I do. I recently found out that long-term use of antihistamines can affect renal function. This wasn’t told to me when I was first put on high doses of antihistamines, which it absolutely should have been. Informed consent is absolutely necessary to maintain trust in the doctor-patient relationship. As a patient with CKD [chronic kidney disease], being on medications that can further damage my kidneys is not something I wanted to do, or want to continue to do.

I think we need a better process of trying new medications, but also making each patient aware of potential side effects, even if the medication is over the counter. I cope the best that I can, even with the risk of renal failure, which is higher due to my having a rare form of CKD. My nephrologist closely monitors my labs. Every 3 months we have to do labs to check renal function. I’m limited with what meds I can take, especially if they are filtered through the kidneys. Though to be fair, I’m not sure had I been made aware of the risk of long-term antihistamines, if I’d have stopped taking them. The itching is a huge factor to me, I like not itching.

Reply from Lynn

I definitely worry about long-term side effects of medications for chronic hives! I cope by reassuring myself via internet research of medical studies and clinical trials regarding that medication. I also find reassurance in online support groups. Ask the senior members how long they have been on the same medications and how they’re doing!

Reply from Andressa

Yes, I am worried about being on medication for life because as of now there is no treatment plan yet to get rid of it. I'm trying to manage the amount of tablets by myself based on my experience in the past years. Some of the meds make me sleepy, so I don't drink them anymore. The most important thing that I've done to cope with the idea of drinking meds is that I've accepted it. There is a saying: "it can always be worse!" So I'm trying to count my blessings that there is at least something that I can do to make it bearable.

Reply from Christy

Medication is a big topic of conversation for me and my family. I am on multiple medications for multiple conditions. Sometimes the amount of medicines can be overwhelming. Getting chronic hives under control can be very difficult at times, and finding the right medicines can be very challenging. If you have questions or concerns about your medications, talk to your doctor. It can also be really helpful to find a counselor or therapist to discuss how your medications might be affecting your mental health.

Reply from CJ

Currently, I take allergy medication to prevent chronic hive breakouts. Taking these allergy medications helps me with my other allergy conditions as well, so I'm not worried about being on this type of medication for the rest of my life. It's more concerning to me what would happen if I stopped taking my medication!

Do you worry about being on medication for life with chronic hives? Share your experience in the comments below.

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Chronic-Hives.com team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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