Which medications in the drug class Antipruritic agents are used in the treatment of Lichen Simplex Chronicus?

Updated: Aug 20, 2020
  • Author: Jason Schoenfeld, MD; Chief Editor: William D James, MD  more...
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Antipruritic agents

Oral agents may control itching by blocking effects of endogenously released histamine. They may decrease the sense of pruritus, sedate/calm patients, and induce sleep. Topical agents stabilize neuronal membrane and prevent the initiation and transmission of nerve impulses, thereby producing local anesthetic action.

Diphenhydramine (Benadryl, Benylin, Diphen, AllerMax)

Diphenhydramine is for symptomatic relief of pruritus caused by the release of histamine.

Chlorpheniramine (Chlor-Trimeton)

Chlorpheniramine competes with histamine or H1-receptor sites on effector cells in blood vessels and the respiratory tract.

Hydroxyzine (Atarax, Vistaril)

Hydroxyzine antagonizes H1 receptors in the periphery. It may suppress histamine activity in the subcortical region of the CNS.

Clonazepam (Klonopin)

Clonazepam is for anxiety associated with pruritus. It binds receptors at several sites within the CNS, including the limbic system and reticular formation. Its effects may be mediated through the GABA receptor system.

Pramoxine topical (Itch-X)

Pramoxine topical blocks nerve conduction and impulses by inhibiting the depolarization of neurons. It is a hypoallergenic topical anesthetic. It contains 0.5% menthol and 0.5% camphor, which are nonstaining agents that provide a subjective cooling effect to the skin and are much preferred to rubbing or scratching the skin.

Doxepin (Sinequan; Zonalon Cream)

Doxepin inhibits histamine and acetylcholine activity. Widespread topical use produces sedation, as does its use in areas of high percutaneous absorption (eg, genitals). Many individuals develop an allergy to topical doxepin. It is marketed orally as an antidepressant but is used for its antihistamine/antipruritic effects also.

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