Management of Chronic Spontaneous Urticaria in the Elderly

Maria Teresa Ventura, Nicoletta Cassano, Paolo Romita, Michelangelo Vestita, Caterina Foti, Gino Antonio Vena

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The guidelines for the management of urticaria in adults and children have been revised and updated recently. However, there are few data in the literature concerning several aspects of this disease in the elderly (e.g., epidemiology, etiopathogenesis, clinical aspects, association with co-morbidities, efficacy and safety profiles of treatments, and management strategies). This is an obvious deficiency in the data, as this disease causes a deterioration in quality of life, affecting the quality of sleep, everyday life habits and activities, and inducing severe disability. Chronic spontaneous urticaria (CSU) can also be associated with internal, infectious, autoimmune, or neoplastic diseases. It is therefore necessary to pay particular attention to these clinical issues through appropriate clinical examinations. At the same time, the specific features of medications used to treat CSU in the elderly should be carefully evaluated, as its pharmacological treatment raises a number of problems related both to the clinical condition of the patient and to concomitant diseases, as well as to the polypharmacotherapy, which is common in older subjects and may cause safety problems because of the drug interactions. Non-sedating new-generation antihistamines are the mainstay treatment of CSU for the elderly. The efficacy and safety of alternative treatment options have not been assessed in the geriatric population with CSU; corticosteroids and cyclosporine (ciclosporin) should be used by this population with extreme caution. Similarly, there are no data regarding the actual safety profile of the new-generation antihistamines at higher doses than those recommended in elderly patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)271-282
Number of pages12
JournalDrugs and Aging
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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