Chronic urticaria (CU) defined as repeatedly occurred itchy wheals and/or angioedema for at least 6 weeks. Due to the unpredictability, recurrent and disabling symptoms, and a considerably impaired quality of life, effective and tolerable treatment for CU patients is crucial. Almost a half of patients with CU are refractory to H1-antihistamines, even though the dose of antihistamines is increased up to 4-fold. Recently treatment modulating IgE levels and activities provides an efficient therapeutic approach. Omalizumab, the only approved anti-IgE treatment for chronic spontaneous urticaria (CSU) patients until now, with a strong evidence of the efficacy and safety, opened a new horizon in the care of the patients whose urticaria is not controlled with antihistamines. Recent international guidelines recommend omalizumab as the first choice of treatment for antihistamine-refractory CSU. However, as it is not curative neither disease-modifying agent, there is a subpopulation of CSU patients responding partly or never to omalizumab. The other things to be solved in the treatment of CU is that clinical evidence is still limited on chronic inducible urticaria (CIndU) and special populations. Thus, a new anti-IgE treatment, ligelizumab is actively evaluated in the efficacy compared with both placebo and omalizumab. Further understandings on the pathogenesis of CU can lead to the development of new mechanism-based therapeutics for CU patients.
Part of the book: Urticaria