The antipruritic effect of topical doxepin cream in patients with atopic dermatitis

Hee Jung Lee, Chang Ook Park, Ju Hee Lee, Kwang Hoon Lee

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4 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Atopic dermatitis is associated with severe pruritus for which effective topical treatment is lacking. As a potent H1 and H2 antagonist, the antipruritic effect of topical doxepin has been demonstrated in eczematous dermatitis. Objective: We evaluated the efficacy and safety of topical 5% doxepin cream in relieving pruritus associated with atopic dermatitis. Methods: A total of 44 patients with atopic dermatitis, who had moderate to severe daily pruritus for at least 1 week, were enrolled in the double-blind, vehicle-controlled study. Randomly assigned 5% doxepin cream or vehicle cream was applied four times daily for 7 days trial. Results: Relief of pruritus was achieved in 85% of doxepin-treated patients and 57% of vehicle-treated patients by day 7. At each study visit, the physician's global evaluation for relief of pruritus showed significant improvement in the doxepin treatment group (p < 0.01). Visual analogue scales for pruritus severity and pruritus relief showed similar improvements in the doxepin-treated group. The most common adverse effects reported included localized erythema, xerosis (doxepin group, n=5; vehicle group, n=3) and drowsiness (doxepin group, n=2; vehicle group, n=0). Conclusion: Topical doxepin is effective in reducing pruritus in patients wirn atopic dermatitis. It has apparently a short-term low risk of major side effects or sensitization.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)309-314
Number of pages6
JournalKorean Journal of Dermatology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2006 Mar

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Dermatology


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