Uremic pruritus is a common and bothersome complaint among end-stage renal disease which affect between 25% and 60% of this population .But there is no decisive cure for treatment of it. In this study, the effects of omega-3 for treatment of pruritus were investigated in hemodialysis patients.

A double-blind randomized study was carried out in the form of placebo-controlled crossover study in four dialysis centers in Tehran, Iran during 2008. At first, 22 hemodialysis patients suffering from pruritus with previous drug resistance were selected. Next, these patients were randomly allocated into two groups of omega-3-placebo (group A) and placebo-omega-3 (group B) .Patients in group A were treated with a 1-gram Fish oil capsule for 20 days, and subsequently, they were treated with placebo for 20 days after a 14-day wash-out period .But the reverse act was done in group B.The pruritus assessment was made quantitatively through Detailed Pruritus Score.

Pruritus was decreased up to 65% from score mean of 20.3 (95% CI: 16.7-23.8) to 6.4 (95% CI: 2.9-9.8) in omega-3 group and the decrease in the placebo group was 15% from score mean of 17.0 (95% CI: 12.4-21.6) to 14.4 (95% CI: 10.5-18.2).So the level of statistical difference was significant (P=0.0001).

Omega-3 fatty acids found to be more effective than placebo in decreasing of uremic pruritus. So it seems that Omega-3 fatty acids could be used as an efficient drug for treatment of pruritus in uremic patients.

PMID: 23115713

See following website for full manuscript.