Pruritus pp 169-182 | Cite as

Cutaneous Drug Reactions and Drug-Induced Pruritus

  • Jacek C. SzepietowskiEmail author
  • Adam Reich
  • Franz Legat


Various systemic and even topical drugs were observed to induce acute or chronic pruritus. It is estimated that pruritus may account for about 5 % of all skin adverse reaction after drug intake. It could be localized or generalized. Frequently, the underlying mechanism of drug-induced pruritus is largely unknown. It may start with the first drug administration or may be delayed in time for several weeks or even months. Remarkably, this symptom may also resolve shortly after drug discontinuation or may persist even for several months or years after treatment withdrawal. The current review aims to give a detailed summary about drug-induced pruritus with a special emphasis on systematic grouping of the different forms of drug-induced pruritus and present a therapy of this side effect.


Drugs Opioids Antimalarials Red man syndrome Side effects Targeted cancer therapies Chloroquine Morphine Hydroxyethyl starch Cholestasis 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jacek C. Szepietowski
    • 1
    Email author
  • Adam Reich
    • 1
  • Franz Legat
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Dermatology, Venereology and AllergologyWroclaw Medical UniversityWroclawPoland
  2. 2.Department of DermatologyMedical University of GrazGrazAustria

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