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Refractory pruritus from malignant cholestasis: management


This case report deals with a patient managed in a tertiary-care cancer hospital who suffered pruritus associated with malignant cholestasis. His symptoms were resistant to conventional treatment with ursodeoxycholic acid, chlorpheniramine and cholestyramine. Hence, the multifactorial origin of malignancy-associated pruritus was considered. Correctable factors were corrected and generally the treatment was aimed at possible aetiologies. There were barriers related to insufficient resources available for symptom palliation in this particular setting, which could potentially reduce optimum symptom control. However, various pharmacotherapies and non-pharmacological measures which could potentially have helped relieve pruritus are described and future scope for research in this area discussed.

  • cancer
  • jaundice
  • gastrointestinal (upper)
  • pruritis
  • hospital care

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