Before taking a look at the angioedema treatment measures let us look at angioedema/hives and also learn more about them.
What are Hives?
The medical term for hives is uriticaria and they are found on the skin defined as raised, pink and itchy bumps. The production of histamine in the body is the primary reason for the generation of hives on the skin. Some of the other reasons that cause hives are reactions to certain foods, use of tight clothing, extreme weathers, chemical reactions as well as stress. Hives have a natural lifespan of 4 days, but the new hives reoccur on the old hives. Insect bites can also cause hives on your body.
There are two types of hives:
- Acute hives
These hives have a lifespan upto a period of 6 weeks and later subside. Also the causes of acute hives are known.
- Chronic hives
Chronic hives last for more than 6 weeks at a stretch. The cause for chronic hives is unknown.
The treatment of angioedema is usually through the dosage of antihistamines as well as steroids. Let us look at the possible treatments involved:
Histamines are the proteins that are responsible for producing hives. Using antihistamines is the best bet to cure your body from hives. You can undergo a two week long non-sedating antihistamine drug course for better recovery. This process does not include any sedation. Some of the drugs that can be taken that contain antihistamine are cetirizine and fexofenadine. Cetrizine can be bought at the pharmacist without any prescription. Also, if you have hives and are up at night due to itchy skin, your GP will prescribe an older antihistamine to help you sleep. These drugs can have drowsiness as a side effect and will help you sleep in peace. You need to avoid these drugs if you are:
- Drinking alcohol
- Operating complex machinery
The side effects of these drugs are headache, dry mouth and dry nose.
These steroids work by blocking the actions of your immunity system actions. In usual cases you need to undergo a 3-5 day program. Prednisolone is a common corticosteroid that is preferred. Some of the side effects of these steroids are nausea, abdominal pain and tiredness. Fungal infection in your mouth and dizziness are also some of the after effects of these corticosteroids.
Medication for hereditary angioedema:
Although there is not efficient drug to help relieve hereditary angioedema there are some drugs that help in most ways. They fall into two categories:
- Medication used to prevent angioedema
- Medication used to relieve angioedema
Danazol is a synthetic hormone that helps in preventing angioedema. However, the use of danazol can cause a lot of unpleasant side effects that include:
- Weight gain
- Irregular menstrual cycles
- Excessive body hair growth, flattening of chest, deepening of voice in women etc.
Due to these side effects many people stay away from the use of danazol.
This is a substitute for danazol. It can be as effective as danazol but has lesser side effects as compared to danazol.
Other than drugs, there are self help advice that can also relieve your angioedema problems. These include:
- Using a cold cloth to dab your inflamed skin from time to time.
- Eating healthy foodstuffs that do not include histamine.
- Exercising daily
- Using aloe vera on inflamed skin to reduce the swelling and the itchiness.
- Reducing your stress levels through meditation as well as yoga.
- Having warm baths to cure the inflamed skin.