Cortisone, or steroids, is recommended for the treatment of hives by the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology. Prior to using prescription cortisone cream, patients should try over-the-counter antihistamines, which are safer and have fewer side effects than cortisone.
For severe cases of hives that are not improved by antihistamines or cortisone, cyclosporin may be used by prescription, states the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology. Cyclosporin should be used as a last resort due to its severe potential side effects. For chronic hives caused by autoimmune disorders, hydroxychloroquine may be used, though it is a newly emerging treatment as of March 2015.