Oral Eczema Medications
In cases where topical eczema treatment is not successful, doctors may prescribe an oral eczema treatment. You may be prescribed one of the following: antibiotics, antihistamines, corticosteroids or cyclosporine.
The antibiotics given are designed to decrease the irritation caused by Staph bacteria. You will have to take it for 14 to 28 days. In cases where you have this condition repeatedly, you may need to take maintenance antibiotics.
Some examples of these antibiotics include Bactroban, Cephalosporins, Cloxacillin, Erythromycin and Fucidin.
Antihistamines are very helpful in reducing itch. Because the side effect of this is drowsiness, patients are advised to only take it at night. Studies have shown that this will also help with any urticarial component of eczema. Two that are commonly used are Doxepin and Hydroxyzine.
You might be wondering if there are antihistamines that do not cause drowsiness. Yes there are. But in a study that compared drowsiness and non-drowsiness inducing antihistamines, the ones that do not cause drowsiness are not as effective in helping those who have eczema.
Third, you have corticosteroids. These are classified as mild, moderate, potent and very potent. The severity of your skin condition will determine how long you have to take the medication. The more severe it is, the stronger class you will need, but for a shorter period of time to avoid suffering from serious side effects such as avascular necrosis of the hip.
Fourth, you have Cyclosporine A or Neoral. This is only used when the first three oral medications do not work. What makes this drug so powerful is that it prevents the immune system from sending special cells called lymphocytes into the affected areas of skin. By doing this, it reduces inflammation.
Doctors will usually start by giving a 3mg dosage per day up to a maximum of 5mg because of the side effects like hypertension, renal problems and the susceptibility of patients to other types of infections, including skin cancer.
Whichever oral medication you are given, it is best to take this right after a meal. The only exception is the antihistamine since you have to take this at least 30 minutes before you go to sleep.
You should follow closely the dosage as prescribed. If you miss taking one, don’t try to make up the missed one by taking it with the next scheduled dose.
If the medication is working, your doctor will gradually–not suddenly– reduce the dosage given. While there are known side effects, you just have to bear with it.
Some oral medications for eczema can be purchased from the pharmacy without a prescription. But first check with your doctor to make sure it is safe, especially if the one who has the skin disorder is an infant or young child.
Oral eczema treatment is sometimes accomplished with topical products. If you do not see any improvement, perhaps it is time to find other options. You can try wet wrap therapy, light therapy, tar therapy and a list of other options once you have consulted your doctor.
Remember that although eczema treatment is available, nothing will cure it permanently so preventive measures must be taken seriously.