Chemo anti-emetic could give off-label help to patients with pruritus

Speakers at the annual Hawaii Dermatology Seminar sponsored by Skin Disease Education Foundation (SDEF) are suggesting that doctors should consider using a frequently used anti-emetic as a means of treating refractory pruritus.

Aprepitant (Emend) is an FDA approved antiemetic agent for patients receiving chemotherapy. However, a number of small studies are cropping up showing that aprepitant can actually help the itching that is a side effect of biological therapies such as Tarceva and Erbitux.

It has even proven to have some efficacy in patients who have stopped responding to more traditional treatments for such itching, such as antihistamines and corticosteroids.

Some speakers even see a possibility that aprepitant can treat the itching that is associated with some lymphomas, such as some cutaneous T-cell lymphomas along with the likes of Hodgkin's lymphoma.

At this point, however, the drug could only be prescribed off-label, because of its single FDA indication.

Source: Skin and Allergy News

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