Question: Why do I take heartburn medicines for hives?
Answer: Among the types of receptors in the skin and elsewhere in the body for the chemical histamine -- the major itch chemical that we think is involved in the hive process -- are one of two types of receptors. The first type of receptor is a histamine type one receptor, which is targeted by most of the classic antihistamines we're familiar with such as diphenhydramine or loratadine.
In addition, there's a second type of histamine receptor called histamine type two, which is mainly found in the stomach. And what we're familiar with is the type of medicines we take for acid problems in the stomach.
However, these same type two receptors can also be found in the skin. And so if somebody is having hives of a more severe nature that's not controlled with a type one histamine receptor blocker, what's often done is add on the additional the type two type histamine blocker as part of a hive therapy regimen.