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10.1007_s40265-021-01478-1.pdf (802.15 kB)

Neurokinin 1 Receptor Antagonists for Pruritus

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journal contribution
posted on 2022-11-22, 21:15 authored by Majid Alam, Joerg Buddenkotte, Fareed Ahmad, Martin Steinhoff

Pruritus, commonly known as itch, is a very common symptom in numerous dermatological disorders and systemic diseases. It can manifest as acute, or when lasting longer than 6 weeks, it is considered chronic and can lead to significant distress and reduced quality-of-life of those suffering. Current therapeutics are limited and are lacking in efficacy, and the development of more effective treatments is needed. The neurokinin 1 receptor (NK1R) antagonists are a novel class of drugs that possess several properties such as antidepressant, anxiolytic and antiemetic activities. Recently, several studies have described the antipruritic activity of NK1R antagonists for treating chronic pruritus. In this review we outline the pathogenesis of chronic pruritus, the mechanism by which the neuropeptide substance P (SP) and its receptor NK1R may be targeted to inhibit pruritic activity, and the efficacy and tolerability of NK1R antagonists, which have been, or are currently being investigated for treating conditions where chronic pruritus is a major symptom. Increasing evidence from ongoing and completed studies demonstrates the importance of SP and NK1R signalling in mediating pruritic activity. Several NK1R antagonists have shown significant antipruritic activity and thus targeting the SP-NK1R pathway may provide a therapeutic option for treating chronic pruritus of certain origin/s in the foreseeable future.

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Published in: Drugs
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  • English


Springer Science and Business Media LLC

Publication Year

  • 2021

Institution affiliated with

  • Hamad Medical Corporation

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