Drug Information

The medications shown below are ones that may be prescribed for chronic urticaria, either alone or in combinations. When you click one of the links to more information, a new window opens to the relevant page in MedlinePlus, a site that provides health information from the U.S. National Library of Medicine. This chart is not to be taken as medical advice or as evaluation of any of these substances. Always follow your doctor’s advice for how and when to take medications.

Drug types

Adrenergic bronchodilator/sympathomimetic | H1 blocker | H2 blocker | Immunosuppressant | Leukotriene blocker | Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) | Steroidal anti-inflammatory | Various others

Drug type: Adrenergic bronchodilator/sympathomimetic

Generic name

Brand name

Notes

Epinephrine (injected) Epi-pen Prescription in US.Emergency medication for anaphylactic shock, injected by patient. After use, you should go to the hospital. (Recommended as part of daily emergency kit for CU patients, particularly those who have angioedema or who have ever experienced anaphylaxis.) More info . . .
Terbutylene Brethine Bricanyl Prescription in US. More info . . .

Drug type: H1 blocker

Generic name

Brand name

Notes

Doxepin Sinequan H1 and H2 blocker tricyclic antidepressant. Prescription in US. Often prescribed as antidepressant. More info . . .
Cetirizine Reactin, Zyrtec Prescription in US. More info . . .
Chlorpheniramine Chlor-Trimetron, Piriton, Chlorphenamine Over-the-counter in US. More info . . .
Cyproheptadine Periactin Prescription in US. More info . . .
Desloratadine Aerius,Clarinex Prescription in US. More info . . .
Diphenhydramine Benadryl Over-the-counter in US. More info . . .
Fexofenadine Allegra, Telfast Prescription in US. More info . . .
Hydroxyzine Atarax, Multipax, Vistaril Prescription in US. More info . . .
Loratadine Claritin, Alavert Over-the-counter in US. More info . . .
Mizolastine Mizollen,Lorex-Synthélabo Not available in US. More info . . .
Ketotifen Apo-Ketotifen, Novo-Ketotifen, Zaditen H1 blocker and mast cell stabilizer. Not available in US. More info . . .

Drug type: H2 blocker

Generic name

Brand name

Notes

Doxepin Sinequan H1 and H2 blocker tricyclic antidepressant. Prescription in US. Often prescribed as antidepressant.,More info . . .
Cimetidine Peptol, Tagamet Over-the-counter in US.,More info . . .
Famotidine Mylanta, Pepcid, Ulcidine Over-the-counter in US.,More info . . .
Nizatidine Axid Over-the-counter in US.,More info . . .
Ranitidine Zantac Over-the-counter in US.,More info . . .

Drug type: Immunosuppressant

Generic name

Brand name

Notes

Azathioprine Imuran Prescription in US. More info . . .
Cyclophosphamide Cytoxan, Neosar, Procytox Prescription in US. More info . . .
Cyclosporine Neoral, Sandimmune, SangCya Prescription in US. More info . . .

Drug type: Leukotriene blocker

Generic name

Brand name

Notes

Montelukast sodium Singulair Prescription in US. Prescribed for asthma and allergies. More info . . .
Zafirlukast Accolate Prescription in US. More info . . .
Zileuton Zyflo Prescription in US. More info . . .

Drug type: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID)

Generic name

Brand name

Notes

Diclofenac Cataflam, Voltaren Over-the-counter in US. More info . . .
Naproxen Aleve, Anaprox, Naprelan, Naprosyn Over-the-counter in US. CAUTION: In some patients, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) can worsen hives and bring on anaphylaxis. More info . . .See the FAQ for more information about CU and NSAIDs.

Drug type: Steroidal anti-inflammatory immunosuppressant corticosteroid

Generic name

Brand name

Notes

Methylprednisolone DepMedalone, Depoject, Depo-Medrol, Depopred, Medrol, Predacorten, Solu-Medrol Prescription in US. Remaining on steroids for long periods of time, as sometimes happens with CU patients, can result in the following side effects (among others).

  • mood swings
  • increased appetite/weight gain
  • increased eye pressure causing glaucoma
  • osteoporosis
  • and many more

Stopping steroid use must be done with a long slow taper to prevent rebound effects. More info . . .

Prednisolone Articulose-50, Cotolone, Delta-Cortef, Key-Pred Nor-Pred, Pediapred, Predalone Predate, Predcor, Pred-Ject, Prelone
Prednisone Apo-Prednisone, Cordrol

Drug Type—Various

Generic name

Brand name

Notes

Cromolyn (sodium cromoglycate) Gastrocrom, Nalcrom Antiallergic and mast cell stabilizer. Prescription in US. Cromolyn is a mast cell stabilizer, which means it prevents mast cell degranulation. It is poorly absorbed, and works best directly at the site you are trying to control. This is why it comes in so many forms – Gastrocrom is used for food allergies and the GI symptoms of systemic mastocytosis, Intal is the inhaled form used in asthma, Nasalcrom is for nasal allergies, and eye drops are used for eye allergies. In a pinch, you can spray some Nasalcrom directly on an especially itchy spot of skin for instant relief. More info . . .
Fluconazole Diflucan Antifungal. Prescription in US. More info . . .
Dapsone Avlosulfon Anti-infective. Prescription in US. More info . . .
Hydroxychloroquine Plaquenil Antiprotozoal, immunosuppressant. Prescription in US. More info . . .
Nifedipine Adalat, Novo-Nifedin, Procardia Calcium channel blocker. Prescription in US. More info . . .