Background and aim: Uremic pruritus is a relatively common and distressing problem for patients with chronic renal failure. Serotonin and histamine have been reported as possible mediators of uremic pruritus. Granisetron, a potent and selective inhibitor of 5-HT3 receptors was developed for relief of chemotherapy induced nausea. There are some studies about effect of Ondansetron in uremic pruritus and recently one case report described relief of renal itch with Granisetron. The aim of our study was to evaluate the effect of Granisetron on uremic pruritus in patients with chronic renal failure under dialysis.
Materials and methods: 14 uremic patients under hemodialysis with moderate and severe pruritus were enrolled in this open trial. Patients received Granisetron tablet (1 mg twice a day) for 1 month. Patients were asked to complete a questionnaire assessing the severity of pruritus on twice a day.
Results: 77% of the patients responded to the treatment and on the 1st , 2nd and 4th weeks of treatment, the mean values of pruritus score were 23 (range 11-40), 16(range 8-35), 8(range 0-35) points, respectively, while at baseline (before treatment) it was 31 (range 20-35) points (p=0.03). Pruritus disappeared in 7 patients at the end of 4th week, and was mild in 3 others. This effect was maintained during the study. Weekly clinical and laboratory examinations showed no side effects.
Conclusion: Granisetron may be an effective, safe and well tolerated drug for the treatment of uremic pruritus in hemodialysis patients.