The use of naltrexone in the management of severe generalized pruritus in biliary atresia: report of a case

Pediatr Dermatol. May-Jun 2008;25(3):403-4. doi: 10.1111/j.1525-1470.2008.00699.x.


Generalized pruritus secondary to cholestasis is a difficult dermatologic condition to treat. We present a case of a 17-month-old child with congenital biliary atresia with generalized pruritus refractory to treatment with oral antihistamines, topical steroids, cholestyramine, and rifampin but improved remarkably with the addition of naltrexone. Naltrexone is a well-tolerated medication with little adverse effects. We believe that naltrexone may be an effective adjuvant treatment in the management of cholestatic pruritus in the pediatric population.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Antipruritics / therapeutic use*
  • Biliary Atresia / complications*
  • Cholestasis / etiology
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Naltrexone / therapeutic use*
  • Narcotic Antagonists / therapeutic use*
  • Pruritus / drug therapy*
  • Pruritus / etiology
  • Xanthomatosis / etiology
  • Xanthomatosis / pathology


  • Antipruritics
  • Narcotic Antagonists
  • Naltrexone