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Mirtazapine for the Treatment of Chronic Pruritus

1
Department of Dermatology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21231, USA
2
Creighton University School of Medicine, Omaha, NE 68178, USA
3
Department of Dermatology, New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY 10016, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Medicines 2019, 6(3), 73; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicines6030073
Received: 15 June 2019 / Revised: 3 July 2019 / Accepted: 5 July 2019 / Published: 6 July 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pathogenesis and Treatment of Chronic Pruritus)
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PDF [502 KB, uploaded 6 July 2019]
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Abstract

Background: Chronic pruritus is a debilitating condition associated with a wide range of dermatologic, systemic and psychogenic etiologies. In patients with chronic pruritus that is refractory to conventional therapy, symptoms can significantly decrease quality of life by contributing to anxiety, sleep disturbances, and in many cases depression. Recent studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of mirtazapine in relieving chronic itch that is refractory to standard first-line therapies. Methods: We searched PubMed for English-language articles containing the words (“pruritus” or “itch”) AND “antidepressant” and then conducted a systematic review of the current literature to summarize the efficacy of mirtazapine in treating chronic itch. Results: All studies reported a reduction in itch intensity following the administration of mirtazapine. Conclusion: Collectively, these studies suggest the potential for mirtazapine to relieve chronic itch attributed to dermatological causes and malignancies. As, such mirtazapine may be an option for patients with chronic pruritus that is refractory to typical first-line treatments. View Full-Text
Keywords: mirtazapine; chronic; pruritus; itch; refractory; treatment; noradrenergic; serotonergic; antihistaminergic; antidepressant mirtazapine; chronic; pruritus; itch; refractory; treatment; noradrenergic; serotonergic; antihistaminergic; antidepressant
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MDPI and ACS Style

Khanna, R.; Boozalis, E.; Belzberg, M.; Zampella, J.G.; Kwatra, S.G. Mirtazapine for the Treatment of Chronic Pruritus. Medicines 2019, 6, 73.

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