As I have often stated in the past, antihistamines are virtually useless on me. Zyrtec does take some of the sting off the hives, but only about 20-50%. And the more I take them, the less effective they seem to be.
So after reading some things online of how it can be useful to combine 2 different antihistamines, I am trying a combo I have never tried before. I am going to take 1 Zyrtec at night since it makes me drowsy (which is an H1 antihistamine). Then, in the morning I will take a Pepcid AC tablet (which is an H2 antihistamine). I want to see if this is a potential way to help in the treatment of cholinergic urticaria.
I strongly recommend that if anyone wants to try any combos to talk to a doctor first. Some combos can be dangerous for some people (especially if you are pregnant, or have other medical conditions).
But anyway, I want to see if this helps stop the hives even more than just taking 1 type of antihistamine. I don’t really like to take antihistamines regularly, and they wear off in effectiveness over time.
So I only plan on taking this combo on days where I will really need it. I did take the combo today, and so I will try to follow-up within the next couple of days to let everyone know my results.
Zyrtec and Pepcid for Hives: The Results
So since everyone’s cholinergic urticaria is different, I always recommend trying different antihistamine combinations to see if it can help manage your hives. I had never tried Zyrtec and Pepcid before, and wanted to see the results. I used a regular 10mg Zyrtec, and a regular pepcid ac. Again, please always talk to a doctor before trying this always (it may be dangerous for some people, especially if you are pregnant or have other conditions).
Did Pepcid AC and Zyrtec Help My Chronic Cholinergic Urticaria?
Well, the results were really quite odd, and it surprised me. First, a regular strength Zyrtec will usually make me very drowsy by itself. Also, when I took a Pepcid AC by itself it too made me very slightly drowsy. However, when I took them both it didn’t make me drowsy at all (which really shocked me).
Unfortunately, I still did get itchy a couple of times yesterday. The first time it just felt kind of uncomfortable, but I avoided an attack by cooling myself off with water. The second time I was playing basketball with my brother. Instead of a full attack, I just felt a few “stings.” They lasted for about 5 minutes. Later, I was able to fully sweat.
The sting felt more intense than usual, but wasn’t quite as itchy. So that was somewhat strange as well, and I suppose the H1 and H2 combo was slightly altering something during the actual histamine release phase.
Overall, I would say that it did somewhat help, but certainly not enough to justify taking it regularly. If I could put it in a percentage, I would say it helps about 50%. An antihistamine by itself helps between about 20-30% usually for me. So it helps a smidgen more, but not enough to really rely on it to knock the hives out 100%.
Let me put it this way: If I had to go publicly in front of a bunch of people in hot weather, I wouldn’t trust that combo to get me through it!
Again, you may want to try a few different combos under a doctors supervision to see if anything helps you. People with Cholinergic Urticaria really seem to react differently to different antihistamine treatments. Unfortunately, I am one of those “lucky” ones that seem to not get a lot of help from them at all.
I no longer take any antihistamines for my hives, since I now have them 100% under control (by my dieting and exercising). However, taking an Allegra and then taking a Pepcid (or Ranitidine) an hour or so later did help quite a bit when I tested that combination. Combining an H1 and H2 does seem to be much more effective than just a regular antihistamine. If my hives ever came back, I would definitely use that again for extreme situations.
However, you should always consult a doctor first before trying it, as there could be some serious risks for some people. Also, you may want to read my Allegra vs Zyrtec blog post for a comparison on which is the better antihistamine.
How My Cholinergic Urticaria Has Been Doing with Sun Exposure
I have now been getting quite regular sun exposure. So far I have gotten a great tan, and no sunburns. I have been doing this very carefully to avoid any sun burn and minimizing skin cancer risks, etc.
Unfortunately, the results on the Cholinergic Urticaria have been mixed. On one hand, the sun helps me to sweat and seems to help the hives somewhat (especially while I am actually in the sun). On the other hand, I have had some reactions in the past few days.
So at this point it seems that the sun is helping some, but definitely doesn’t feel as if it is curing it as much as I had hoped. I am still going to continue with safe sun exposure for at least the next month, so we will see how it goes. So this has disappointed me some, but I am not giving up yet.
Also, I don’t necessarily think the hives are caused by my hard water here, but I am telling you that my water is so hard here that it does make my skin really itchy when I get out. I can’t help but believe that when I move out of this place and get a water-softener, it will help some.
If nothing else, it will make my skin less dry and perhaps the hives won’t be so reactive. Literally every time I get out of the shower my skin is so itchy and hivey feeling. It seems to make my CU worse, and on days when I don’t shower they aren’t quite as reactive.
Quick Update on My Stomach and Digestion
I am still taking the digestive advantage which has really worked well for me. I have ate pizzas, cookies, peanut M&M’s, Brownies, and other snacks. It has been great eating these things.
I did get a very slight sensation in my stomach after eating M&M’s and cookies one day. I think I may have slightly over-stepped my bounds and ate a little too much junk. So due to that I have taken it sorta easy for the past couple of days. But overall, it is still doing well, and I still take the digestive advantage stuff.