Management of Chronic Spontaneous Urticaria in Routine Clinical Practice Following the EAACI/GA(2)LEN/EDF/WAO Guidelines

I Marín-Cabañas, L Berbegal-de Gracia, F de León-Marrero, P Hispán, J F Silvestre
Actas Dermo-sifiliográficas 2017, 108 (4): 346-353

INTRODUCTION: Chronic spontaneous urticaria is a prevalent and difficult-to-treat condition that has a very negative impact on patient quality of life.

OBJECTIVE: To describe the epidemiological and clinical characteristics of patients presenting with chronic spontaneous urticaria and the response to treatment administered according to the EAACI/GA(2)LEN/EDF/WAO consensus guideline.

MATERIAL AND METHOD: Descriptive cross-sectional study of all the patients with chronic spontaneous urticaria who consulted a skin allergy unit in the dermatology department of a tertiary hospital in Spain between July 2011 and July 2015.

RESULTS: The study included 100 patients with chronic spontaneous urticaria; inducible urticaria was present in 43% of cases, and angioedema in 40%. On diagnosis, 53% of patients were taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. All patients were treated with second generation H1-antihistamines, but the standard dose was sufficient in only 18% of cases. Higher doses (up to 4 times the standard dose) achieved control of the urticaria in 74% of the patients studied. Higher doses of second generation H1-antihistamines were required to control the condition in patients with angioedema, and the presence of angioedema was associated with a lack of response to treatment with these drugs (OR, 6.1%; P<.001). One in 4 patients failed to respond to second generation H1-antihistamines and required treatment with omalizumab or ciclosporin to control their condition.

CONCLUSIONS: Doses of H1-antihistamines higher than the standard dose are required in most cases to achieve control of chronic spontaneous urticaria. Angioedema is associated with failure to respond to treatment with antihistamines. In refractory cases, control of the condition can be achieved with omalizumab or ciclosporin. Patients with chronic spontaneous urticaria do not generally avoid the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents.

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