Is There a Role for 5-HT3 Receptor Antagonists in the Treatment of Opioid-Induced Pruritus?

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Abstract

Pruritus is an unpleasant irritation symptom that can be related to various systemic and dermatological conditions. Although underreported, pruritus is a common adverse event noted after use of opioid pain medications. This article reviews the current understanding of the mechanism of opioid-induced pruritus (OIP) and various pharmacological therapies. 5-Hydroxytryptamine 3 (5-HT3) receptor antagonists are potentially effective for treating OIP and may be a valuable treatment option if further controlled studies are encouraging.

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