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    High-dose vitamin D may alleviate urticaria


    High-dose vitamin D3 as an adjuvant therapy holds potential benefit for patients suffering from chronic urticaria, according to results of a recent study.

    Researchers from University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, Neb., conducted a prospective, double-blinded, single-center study of 42 patients who had chronic urticaria. The patients were randomized to receive high (4,000 IU/d) or low (600 IU/d) vitamin D3 supplements over the course of 12 weeks. Each patient was given a standardized triple-drug therapy of cetirizine, ranitidine and montelukast, as well as a written action plan, according to the study.

    The triple-drug therapy decreased the total Urticaria Symptom Severity (USS) scores by 33 percent within the first week, study authors reported. There was also a 40 percent decrease in total USS scores in the high-dose vitamin D3 treatment group by week 12, but not in the low-dose group. Patients receiving the higher vitamin D3 dosage showed a trend (P=0.52) toward lower total USS scores at week 12 than those in those in the low-dose group. Study authors indicated this was due to “significant decreases in body distribution and number of days with hives.” There were no adverse events reported.

    “Add-on therapy with high-dose vitamin D3 (4,000 IU/d) could be considered a safe and potentially beneficial immunomodulator in patients with chronic urticaria,” study authors concluded.

    The findings were published online Feb. 7 in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.

    Sarah Thuerk
    Sarah Thuerk is associate editor of Healthcare Traveler magazine.

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    • Vitamin DExplained
      It's good to see vitamin D getting a little positive play here on a dermatology website. It's especially important given that dermatologists tend to mainly see the downside of the "sunshine vitamin." I understand this is advocating supplements as an add-on treatment as opposed to sun exposure, but it's good to see this nonetheless. I'm a writer for the up-and-coming website for discussing vitamin D called Vitamin D Explained at http://www.dexplained.com.

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