Are There Any Medications I Should Avoid If I Have Hives Or Allergic Swelling?

It has been estimated that up to one-third of patients with chronic hives and/or angioedema have a sensitivity to aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). In these patients, ingestion of these medications leads to acute worsening of their hives and/or angioedema. A small number of these patients will experience more serious systemic reactions following NSAIDs, including throat or tongue swelling. Once the hives have resolved completely for a period of time, the NSAIDs may once again be tolerated without causing hives.

Importantly, this sensitivity will occur with all of the NSAIDs, and the more potent the drug, the worse the exacerbation of the hives. Once a patient has this type of reaction to an NSAID, these drugs should be avoided in the future. Angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor drugs, such as captopril and enalapril, are frequently used to treat hypertension and congestive heart failure as well as to prevent progressive kidney damage in patients with diabetes. It has been advised that individuals with chronic angioedema avoid these drugs as well, since there is a small possibility that these medications may provoke attacks of angioedema.