A pramoxine-based anti-itch lotion is more effective than a control lotion for the treatment of uremic pruritus in adult hemodialysis patients

J Dermatolog Treat. 2009;20(2):76-81. doi: 10.1080/09546630802441218.


Objective: The objective of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of a commercially available anti-itch lotion containing 1% pramoxine hydrochloride versus control lotion in the treatment of uremic pruritus in adult hemodialysis patients.

Methods: This was a randomized, double-blind, controlled comparative trial set in a community hemodialysis center. The study population comprised 28 individuals (mean age 53.5) with moderate to severe uremic pruritus who had been receiving hemodialysis for at least 3 months. All participants were recruited from one community hemodialysis center. Topical anti-itch lotion containing 1% pramoxine was applied twice daily to all affected areas of pruritus for 4 weeks. The main outcome measure was a reduction in itch intensity. Secondary outcomes included increases in the investigator's global assessment and improvement in skin hydration.

Results: There was a 61% decrease in itch intensity in the treatment group, whereas a 12% reduction in itch intensity was observed in the control group. The rate of decline in itching was also greater in the treatment arm versus the control arm. No significant differences were displayed in other studied disease-related variables.

Conclusion: Our study shows that individuals using pramoxine 1% lotion experienced a reduction in pruritus to a greater degree than those using the control lotion. This safe, convenient and effective topical lotion may potentially benefit the large number of patients affected by pruritus associated with end-stage renal disease.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Topical
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Drug Combinations
  • Emollients
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / diagnosis
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / therapy*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Morpholines / therapeutic use*
  • Pain Measurement
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Probability
  • Propylene Glycols / therapeutic use*
  • Pruritus / drug therapy*
  • Pruritus / etiology
  • Pruritus / physiopathology
  • Reference Values
  • Renal Dialysis / adverse effects*
  • Renal Dialysis / methods
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Sodium Dodecyl Sulfate / therapeutic use*
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult


  • Drug Combinations
  • Emollients
  • Morpholines
  • Propylene Glycols
  • cetyl alcohol, propylene glycol, sodium lauryl sulfate non-lipid cleansing lotion
  • pramoxine
  • Sodium Dodecyl Sulfate