Homeopathy 2003; 92(04): 177-181
DOI: 10.1016/j.homp.2003.07.002
Original Paper
Copyright ©The Faculty of Homeopathy 2003

Effects of homeopathic treatment on pruritus of haemodialysis patients: a randomised placebo-controlled double-blind trial

A.M.S Cavalcanti
1  Community Health Institute, Universidade Federal Fluminense, Niterói, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
,
L.M Rocha
2  Department of Pharmaceutical Technology, Universidade Federal Fluminense, Niterói, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
,
R Carillo Jr
3  Department of Homeopathic Medicine, Hospital do Servidor Público de São Paulo, Brazil
,
LUO Lima
4  Department of Medicine, Universidade Federal Fluminense, Niterói, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
,
J.R Lugon
4  Department of Medicine, Universidade Federal Fluminense, Niterói, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

Received07 May 2003
revised16 July 2003

accepted21 July 2003

Publication Date:
12 December 2017 (online)

Abstract

Pruritus is a frequent and difficult to treat problem in haemodialysis. This double-blind placebo-controlled randomised clinical trial assessed the role of homeopathic treatment in this situation. The code was held by the pharmacist who dispensed the medications. Pruritus was evaluated using a previously published scale. Only patients with initial values above 25% of maximum pruritus score were entered. Data were analysed after partial code break, separating the two groups of patients, but with no awareness of which one received verum or placebo. Patients were classified as responders if they had >50% reduction of pruritus score.

Twenty-eight patients (16M/12F, 51±11 years of age) were entered and 20 (12M/8F, 52±8 years of age) remained for final analysis: 11 in the verum group, 9 in placebo. At entry, the mean pruritus score was 65±25% for the treated patients and 70±27% for placebo. After 15, 30, 45, and 60 days of follow-up, pruritis score were respectively: 46±29, 41±30, 42±29, and 38±33 for the treated patients and 61±29, 67±31, 64±35, and 57±39 for placebo. Reduction was statistically significant (P<0.05) at every point of observation. According to the patients’ own assessment, at the end of the study period, the homeopathic treatment reduced the pruritus score by ∼49%. Responders were more frequent in the treated group with statistical significance at 30 days (0% vs 45%, P=0.038).

Homeopathic treatment may represent a worthwhile alternative to relieve pruritus in patients undergoing haemodialysis.

 
  • References

  • 1 Bencini PL, Montagno G, Citterio A, Graziani G, Crosti C, Ponticelli C. Cutaneous abnormalities in uremic patients. Nephron 1985; 40: 316–321.
  • 2 Young AW, Sweeney EW, David DS, et al. Dermatologic evaluation of pruritus in patients on hemo dialysis. N Y State J Med 1973; 73: 2670–2674.
  • 3 Chargin L, Keil H. Skin diseases in nom surgical renal disease. Arch Dermatol Syphil 1932; 26: 314–335.
  • 4 Weber M, Schmutz JL. Hemodialysis and skin. Control Nephrol 1988; 62: 75–85.
  • 5 Gupta AK, Gupta MA, Cardella CJ, Haberman HF. Cutaneous association of chronic renal failure and dialysis. Int J Dermatol 1986; 25: 498–504.
  • 6 Morton CA, Lafferty M, Han C, Henderson I, Jones M, Lowe JG. Pruritus and skin hydration during dialysis. Nephrol Dial Transplant 1996; 11: 2031–2036.
  • 7 Tarng DC, Cho YL, Liu NH, Huang TP. Hemodialysis-related pruritus: a double-blind placebo-controlled, crossover study of capsaicina 0.025% cream. Nephron 1996; 72: 617–622.
  • 8 Greaves MW. Itching-research has barely scratched the surface. New Engl J Med 1982; 226: 1223–1225.
  • 9 Gilchrest BA, Rowe JW, Brown RS, Steinman TI, Arndt KA. Ultraviolet phototherapy of uremic pruritus: long-term results and possible mechanisms of action. Ann Intern Med 1979; 91: 17–21.
  • 10 Duo LJ. Eletrical needle therapy of uremic pruritus. Nephron 1987; 47: 179–183.
  • 11 Snyder D, Merril JPL. Sauna baths in the treatment of chronic renal failure. Trans Am Soc Artif Intern Organs 1966; 12: 188.
  • 12 Hampers CL, Katz AI, Wilson RE, Merril JP. Disappearance of ‘uremic’ itching after subtotal parathyroidectomy. N Engl J Med 1968; 279: 695–697.
  • 13 Pederson JÁ, Matter BJ, Czerwinski AW, et al. Relief of idiopathic generalized pruritus in dialysis patient treated with activated oral charcoal. Ann Intern Med 1980; 93: 446–448.
  • 14 Silverberg DS, Iaina A, Reisin E, Rotzak R, Eliahou HE. Cholestyramine in uraemic pruritus. Br Med J 1977; 1: 752–753.
  • 15 Bousquet J, Rivory JP, Matheut M, Michel FB, Mion C. Double-blind, placebo-controlled study of nicergoline in the treatment of pruritus in patients receiving maintenance hemodialysis. J Allergy Clin Immunol 1989; 83: 825–828.
  • 16 Silva SRB, Viana PCF, Lugon NV, Hoette M, Ruzany F, Lugon JR. Thalidomide for the treatment of uremic pruritus: a crossover randomized double-blind trial. Nephron 1994; 67: 270–273.
  • 17 Andersen LW, Friedberg M, Lokkegaard N. Naloxone in treatment of uremic pruritus: a case history. Clin Nephrol 1984; 21: 355–356.
  • 18 Peer G, Kivity S, Agami O, et al. Randomised crossover trial of naltrexone in uraemic priritus. Lancet 1996; 348: 1552–1554.
  • 19 Marchi S, Cecchin E, Villalta D, Sepiacci G, Santini G, Bartoli R. Relief of pruritus and decreases in plasma histamine concentrations during erythropoietin therapy in patients with uremia. New Engl J Med 1992; 326: 969–974.
  • 20 Matsumoto M, Ichimaru K, Horie A. Pruritus and mast cell proliferation of the skin in end stage renal failure. Clin Nephrol 1985; 6: 285–288.
  • 21 Yatzidis H, Degenis P, Tountas C. Heparin treatment of uremic itching. J Am Med Assoc 1972; 222: 1183.
  • 22 Tapia L, Cheigh JS, David SD, et al. Pruritus in dialysis patients treated with parenteral lidocaine. N Engl J Med 1977; 296: 261–263.
  • 23 Carillo Jr R. Terapêutica. In: Carillo Jr R (ed). Homeopatia, Medicina Internae Terapêutica. São Paulo: Livraria Santos, 2000, pp 101–177.
  • 24 Brasil. Ministério da Saúde. Farmacopéia Homeopática Brasileira. 2a edn. São Paulo: Atheneu, 1997.