Comparison of Gabapentin and Ketotifen in Treatment of Uremic Pruritus in Hemodialysis Patients

Pak J Med Sci. Jan-Feb 2016;32(1):22-6. doi: 10.12669/pjms.321.8547.


Objectives: Uremic pruritus is a common problem in hemodialysis patients. Several treatments have been used for decreasing itching in these patients. Gabapentin and ketotifen are two drugs used for treating uremic patients. The aim of this study was to compare gabapentin and ketotifen in treatment of uremic pruritus in hemodialysis patients.

Methods: In this double-blind randomized clinical trial, 52 hemodialysis patients with uremic pruritus referred to 5azarTeaching Hospital in Gorgan in 2013 were studied. Patients were randomly assigned to two groups of 26 subjects (groups G and K). In group G, patients treated with gabapentin capsules 100 mg daily for 2 weeks, and in Group K, patients treated with ketotifen 1 mg twice daily for 2 weeks. Before and at the end of study, pruritus severity was determined based on Shiratori's severity scores. Collected data were analyzed by SPSS-21 statistical software.

Results: There was no significant different between two groups in the age and sex. After two weeks of treatment, severity of pruritus was significantly reduced in both groups (88.4% in group G vs. 76.9% in group K). Gabapentin compared with ketotifen had a better effect on improving itching in the age group of 30-60 years and in males. 5 patients (19.2%) in both groups suffered from drowsiness and dizziness, but no serious side effects were observed.

Conclusions: The results showed that gabapentin and ketotifen significantly improved pruritus in hemodialysis patients, and no significant difference was observed between two groups.

Keywords: Gabapentin; Hemodialysis; Ketotifen; Uremic Pruritus.