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Vitamin D may provide relief for patients with chronic hives

March 3, 2014

According to a new US study increased intakes of vitamin D3 as an add-on therapy may significantly decrease the severity of symptoms in patients with chronic hives.

The study assessed the severity of symptoms among 38 patients with chronic hives who took daily 600 IU or 4000 IU of vitamin D3 over 12 weeks in addition to a triple-drug combination of allergy medications (1). The study results showed that after one week, the severity of patients' symptoms decreased by 33%for both groups. The patients did not have as many hives and had a decrease in the number of days a week they had hives, compared to the time they were on drug therapy only or had no therapy. At the end of three months, the group taking 4000 IUs of vitamin D3 had a further 40% decrease in the severity of their hives, while the group who took 600 IU had no further improvement after the first week.

The researchers concluded that the higher dosing of readily available vitamin D3 supplements shows promise without adverse effects. Vitamin D3 could therefore be considered a safe and potentially beneficial therapy, in contrast to standard therapy, which controls symptoms with antihistamines and other allergy medications and is costly and poses substantial side effects. Hives are an allergic skin condition, creating red, itchy welts on the skin and sometimes swelling. They can occur daily and can last longer than six weeks, even years. The cause of hives is not generally known. There is no cure for chronic hives and treatment options are limited.

References

  1. Rorie A. et al. Beneficial role for supplemental vitamin D3 treatment in chronic urticaria: a randomized study. Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Published online February 2014.