Senna May Relieve Itching In Some Dialysis Patients

Mohammad Kazem Fallahzadeh Abarghouei, M.D. Baylor University Medical Center, Dallas, TX MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Mohammad Kazem Fallahzadeh Abarghouei, M.D.
Baylor University Medical Center, Dallas, TX

Medical Research: What is the background for this study?

Response: Uremic pruritus (itch) is a common problem in hemodialysis patients. No effective treatment exists for uremic pruritus due to its complex pathogenesis. Systemic inflammation and elevated serum levels of interleukin-2 (IL-2) are implicated in the pathogenesis of uremic pruritus. Senna is an herbal drug commonly used for treatment of constipation. Senna also has anti-inflammatory properties. We performed this randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial to evaluate the effect of senna on reduction of uremic pruritus and serum levels of IL-2 in hemodialysis patients.

Medical Research: What are the main findings?

Response: Sixty hemodialysis patients with moderate to severe pruritus (visual analogue scale ≥4) of at least 6 week duration were enrolled in this study. Enrolled patients were randomized into 2 equal groups to receive either senna or placebo tablets for 8 weeks. Severity of pruritus and serum levels of IL-2 were measured before and at the end of treatment phase. At the end of treatment phase, pruritus decreased in both groups; however, the mean reduction in the severity of pruritus was significantly higher in senna than placebo group (p<0.05). Mean serum levels of IL-2 decreased in the senna group but increased in the placebo group; the mean reduction in IL-2 serum levels in the senna group was significantly different from the mean increase in the placebo group (p<0.05).

Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Response: Senna can potentially be an effective medication for treatment of itch (uremic pruritus) in hemodialysis patients.

Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: Further studies with larger sample sizes and longer duration of follow-up are needed to better evaluate the effect of senna on reduction of uremic pruritus in hemodialysis patients.

Citation: Abstract Presented at the 2015 National Kidney Foundation Meeting

EFFECT OF SENNA ON REDUCTION OF UREMIC PRURITUS IN HEMODIALYSIS PATIENTS: A RANDOMIZED DOUBLE-BLIND PLACEBO-CONTROLLED TIRAL

Authors:

Mohammad Kazem Fallahzadeh1, Pouya Faridi2, Arian Kamali Sarvestani2, Mohammad Mahdi Sagheb2, Joan Blondin3, Abdolali Mohagheghzadeh2, Jamshid Roozbeh2

  1. Baylor University Medical Center, Dallas, TX
  2. Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran.
  3. LSUHSC-S, Shreveport, LA

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Mohammad Kazem Fallahzadeh Abarghouei, M.D. (2015). Senna May Relieve Itching In Some Dialysis Patients