27 Mar Senna May Relieve Itching In Some Dialysis Patients
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
- Baylor University Medical Center, Dallas, TX
- Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran.
- LSUHSC-S, Shreveport, LA
MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Mohammad Kazem Fallahzadeh Abarghouei, M.D. (2015). Senna May Relieve Itching In Some Dialysis Patients