I’ll make this quick: My cholinergic urticaria started last September.
I tried Allegra, Zyrtec, Loraditine, Benadryl, Hydroxyzine, Ketotifen, Zantac, Levocetirizine, Montelukast, Cyproheptadine and Prednisone.
Initially, the Benadryl and Hydroxyzine helped the most. And of course Prednisone was an amazing help, but you just can’t take it very long. Eventually Benadryl and Hydroxyzine stopped helping. The likely reason is that I started with Idiopathic Urticaria in September, and the condition didn’t evolve into cholinergic urticaria and Dermographia until December or so. It took until May of this year to find the medicine that actually works.
Doxepin! Doxepin is the life saver. I take 75mg, three times a day and 95% of my symptoms are gone.
Do I still itch a little? Yes. Do I attack my body trying to itch? NO! The truth of the matter is, I still itch a bit because I don’t always take the medicine three times a day. I did at first, but after a few weeks I realized that I end up just taking it when I need it. It kicks in within 30 minutes or so.
Downsides? You are going to be knocked out the first few days. The first day I started I woke up at 9am, was back in bed at 10am, and was more or less in bed until 10:30 the next morning. Doxepin also made me eat–a lot. But both of those side effects tapered off in about two weeks time. Doxepin no longer makes me want to eat, and it doesn’t knock me out. At most, it will make me slightly groggy for an hour or so, but a lot of times there just isn’t any drowsiness effect anymore.
I hope this helps some of you guys. After 8 agonizing months, I finally found a drug that works!
Also, one word of advice after reading so much stuff on here: go make sure your doctor diagnosed you with the right thing. Different urticaria’s require different courses of treatment. Also, Get a second opinion. If all of the medicines that generally help people with cholinergic urticaria aren’t helping you, you may have a similar yet different kind of urticaria that requires different treatment.