Hives are red, itchy, raised areas of the skin that can range in size and appear anywhere on your body. Most are caused by food or drug allergies and usually go away within a few days. Chronic cases can last six months to years. Hives can be treated with antihistamines to reduce the itching and swelling. Nonprescription antihistamines include cetirizine (Zyrtec) and loratadine (Claritin, Alavert). Prescription antihistamines include fexofenadine (Allegra), levocetirizine (Xyzal), and desloratadine (Clarinex). For severe cases of hives, doctors may prescribe an oral corticosteroid drug such as prednisone to relieve the swelling, itching, and redness. Consult a dermatologist or allergist for more information.