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Vol 6, No 2 (2007)
Case reports
Published online: 2007-09-07
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Transdermal buprenorphine ameliorated pruritus complicating advanced hepatocellular cancer

Małgorzata Krajnik, Anna Adamczyk, Zbigniew Zylicz
Advances in Palliative Medicine 2007;6(2):83-85.

open access

Vol 6, No 2 (2007)
Case reports
Published online: 2007-09-07

Abstract

Itch is a difficult to treat symptom that may accompany neoplastic disease. At least some of the itch symptoms are due to abnormal endogenous opioid synthesis in the liver. In the past opioid receptor antagonists were found useful to treat itch in such patients. However, their use is limited by the abstinence symptoms experienced by the patient. Another approach would be to use an opioid with high affinity and slow dissociation from the receptor not to allow endogenous opioids to interact with the opioid receptors. In this paper we describe a patient with severe itch due to hepatocellular cancer who responded to the treatment with buprenorphine.

Abstract

Itch is a difficult to treat symptom that may accompany neoplastic disease. At least some of the itch symptoms are due to abnormal endogenous opioid synthesis in the liver. In the past opioid receptor antagonists were found useful to treat itch in such patients. However, their use is limited by the abstinence symptoms experienced by the patient. Another approach would be to use an opioid with high affinity and slow dissociation from the receptor not to allow endogenous opioids to interact with the opioid receptors. In this paper we describe a patient with severe itch due to hepatocellular cancer who responded to the treatment with buprenorphine.
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Keywords

buprenorphine; pruritus; hepatogenic itch

About this article
Title

Transdermal buprenorphine ameliorated pruritus complicating advanced hepatocellular cancer

Journal

Advances in Palliative Medicine

Issue

Vol 6, No 2 (2007)

Pages

83-85

Published online

2007-09-07

Bibliographic record

Advances in Palliative Medicine 2007;6(2):83-85.

Keywords

buprenorphine
pruritus
hepatogenic itch

Authors

Małgorzata Krajnik
Anna Adamczyk
Zbigniew Zylicz

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