Quick cures for hives include taking an over-the-counter oral antihistamine or an epinephrine injection from a doctor-prescribed emergency kit, according to WebMD. A mild case of hives often disappears on its own after a few hours. If hives persist for several days, professional medical attention is necessary.
Over-the-counter antihistamines such as diphenhydramine, marketed as Benadryl, and chlorpheniramine, marketed as Chlor-Trimeton, relieve symptoms but sometimes induce drowsiness, according to MedicineNet. Non-drowsy alternatives include loratadine, known as Claritin, and fexofenadine, sold as Allegra.
A patient with hives who experiences itchy welts or burning in the throat needs to call 911 immediately because these symptoms potentially lead to suffocation. Patients with dry throat, cold sweats, dizziness, labored breathing or significantly decreased blood pressure display symptoms of anaphylaxis, a life-threatening allergic reaction, notes WebMD.