Pathophysiology of Itch and New Treatments

Ulrike Raap; Sonja Ständer; Martin Metz


Curr Opin Allergy Clin Immunol. 2011;11(5):420-427. 

In This Article

Experimental and Promising Treatment Strategies

In animal models, the use of anti-IL-31,[44] neurokinin-1-receptor antagonists,[62•] and H4-receptor antagonists[63,64] have been proven to be successful for the therapy of itch.

In humans, only a minority of these novel drugs have been evaluated so far in case reports or small case series. In this regard, the neurokinin-1-receptor antagonist aprepitant almost completely controlled severe and treatment refractory itch in three patients with Sézary syndrom[65] and successfully inhibited itch in 20 patients with atopic diathesis, prurigo nodularis and pruritus of systemic origin.[66••] Furthermore, the κ-opiod agonist nalfurafine has been shown to be very effective in a phasis III randomized placebo-controlled trial including 337 patients with hemodialysis-associated pruritus.[58•]


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