20% of the US population gets hives at some point in their lives. A smaller percentage of them are chronic sufferers, having hives for more than six weeks.
Dr. Thomas Casale, Chief of Allergy/Immunology and Professor of Medicine at Creighton University, says 85-95% of patients with chronic hives never find out what’s causing them.
Dr. Casale says those are the individuals he and his team wanted to help, because there is currently no good treatment for chronic hives.
During his study, chronic hive sufferers were either treated with a placebo or one of two levels of medication.
"The things we looked at were the degree of itchiness, the number of hives and the amount of swelling. In the patients treated with the highest dose, about 44% of those patients were completely swelling, hive and itch free at the end of the treatment period which was 12 weeks.”
Dr. Casale says 2/3’s of the patients were well controlled…they had some hives and itchiness, but were doing much better.
He says those results show this medicine could provide an effective therapy for patients with chronic hives who are resistant to antihistamines.
He says two additional studies were recently completed and if all the data is positive, the next step would be for the drug manufacturer to petition the FDA for approval.