Hives: New Game-Changing Treatment?
Patients suffering from chronic hives often report little to no improvement on standard antihistamines. Acute flare-ups typically require oral steroids, immunosuppressant drugs, or both, that can have adverse effects with long-term use. Symptoms present as itchy hives and swelling under the surface of the skin, and outbreaks can last longer than six weeks with no obvious causes or triggers.
In 2014, the FDA approved use of Xolair (omalizumab), traditionally used to treat allergic asthma, as an alternative treatment for chronic hives. A 40-week study published in the January 2015 Journal of Investigative Dermatology assessed the effectiveness of Xolair on hives patients otherwise unresponsive to antihistamine therapy.
The study showed significant results within week one of the treatment period with decreases in symptom severity and presentation, and reported sustained improvement through week 24 of the trial before returning to baseline levels.
To access all results and discussions from the Xolair study, click here.