Must survive for 3 days without antihistamines
November 2, 2011 10:11 AM   Subscribe

I have to stop taking antihistamines for 3 days in order for my allergist to run a test. It's looking like an impossible task - I've already changed the appointment date once because my hives were too much to handle, and I'm sure I would've torn my skin off. So how can I actually do this? Any tips for surviving what looks like idiopathic urticaria?

My allergist put me on a regimen of Allegra and Zantac for a week, which was working great to make me feel like a normal person. He wants to run a food allergy test to rule out any surprises, so I have to stick to Zantac and whatever else for 3 days and somehow make it. (Zantac by itself wasn't doing much.) I've tried bathing my skin in aloe, the coolness of which sometimes helps, but there's only so much of that I can do at work for example. I'm panicking just thinking about giving up the Allegra again.

They're not heat hives, stress-related hives, etc. My doctor and I ruled out everything that would make sense. I just want to make it through these 3 days and then go back to my happy pills...

Am I doomed, or are there other non-antihistamine options to deal with this crap for 3 days?
posted by Tequila Mockingbird to Health & Fitness (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Calamine lotion works for me on itchy skin from whatever source.
posted by Carol Anne at 10:36 AM on November 2, 2011

I would be tempted to see if ibuprofen helped with the inflammation. (this is in the context that I probably take too much ibuprofen and I know it's bad for my liver/kidneys).
posted by mercredi at 10:40 AM on November 2, 2011

For non-drug treatment of local rashes (poison ivy and the like), I use very hot water, which apparently exhausts that area's ability to create histamine for a few hours. You get several hours worth of itching all at once (say, for about a minute or two) and then it suddenly (and blissfully) fades away. Don't know how wide of an area you're dealing with, but it might be worth a shot.
posted by jquinby at 10:54 AM on November 2, 2011 [1 favorite]

Call your allergist. I went through this exact same thing (for a diagnosis of dermographia) and when I walked gingerly into the appointment on the outsides of my feet because the soles were covered in deep hives, the receptionist said "Oh, you should have told us! In cases this severe, you can just take a half dose!" I could have cheerfully shanked her on the spot.
posted by KathrynT at 10:59 AM on November 2, 2011

Best answer: Whenever I get poison ivy (i.e. frequently), I follow jquinby's method, but using a hairdryer. It was described to me as an "itchgasm" and I think that pretty much captures it -- very intense itching for a few moments, and then none at all for hours.
posted by zug at 12:45 PM on November 2, 2011 [1 favorite]

Can he give you something topical? Mine gave me Triamcinolone Acetonide cream and it works great on itchiness.
posted by WorkingMyWayHome at 4:39 PM on November 2, 2011

Is there anything you know won't cause a reaction. A few days ahead of time start eating that - and only that. Yeah five days of plain oatmeal is a grind, but at least you won't have hives.
posted by 26.2 at 1:05 AM on November 3, 2011

Response by poster: Turns out it was a severe allergy to pollen! Scratch test results were really interesting. I unintentionally stayed indoors during those 3 days and the reactions weren't as severe as I was expecting. So hurrah for surviving that after all :)

And the hairdryer tip worked great! Thank you guys!
posted by Tequila Mockingbird at 10:07 AM on December 5, 2011

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