What are general treatment options for treating pruritus of systemic diseases?

Updated: Mar 03, 2020
  • Author: David F Butler, MD; Chief Editor: William D James, MD  more...
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Topical cannabinoid agonist creams have been shown to relieve pruritus associated with certain chronic dermatoses. Treating the underlying disorder is the mainstay of therapy for controlling pruritus. Corticosteroids with palliative chemotherapy in late-stage Hodgkin disease often provide relief.

Nonspecific treatments for intractable pruritus, such as UV-B light therapy, cholestyramine, naloxone, and activated charcoal, should be considered. Paroxetine relieves itch in patients with advanced cancer; however, the effect usually lasts only 4-6 weeks.

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