Relieving the Pruritus of Atopic Dermatitis: A Meta-analysis

Lindsay G. Sher, Jongwha Chang, Isha B. Patel, Rajesh Balkrishnan, Alan B. Fleischer Jr
DOI: 10.2340/00015555-1360


The goal of this study was to perform a meta-analysis on randomized controlled trials of topical therapies compared against their vehicles, and systemic therapies compared against their placebos, and to record how these therapies changed the magnitude of pruritus associated with atopic dermatitis. A systematic search of the literature was performed using Medline, Embase, and the Cochrane Controlled Clinical Trials Register, as well as follow-up references in retrieved articles. Data regarding the magnitude of the change in pruritus was extracted from eligible publications and categorized according to the type of treatment modality. Standard inverse variance fixed-effects meta-analysis was used to calculate the pooled estimates for randomized controlled trials falling under each type of treatment. Overall, the topical treatments were more successful at reducing atopic pruritus compared to the systemic treatments. Calcineurin inhibitors were the most effective antipruritic agent.

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