Skip to main content

Medications for Chronic Kidney Disease-Associated Pruritus

Other names: CKD-aP; Uremic Pruritus

Chronic Kidney Disease-associated Pruritus (CKD-aP) is a debilitating systemic itch condition that affects a large number of hemodialysis patients.

CKD-aP is thought to be caused by a combination of factors, including immune system dysfunction, build-up of toxins, metabolic abnormalities, systemic inflammation, and altered endogenous opioid levels.

CKD-aP itching mainly affects the face, chest, and limbs, and may be generalized. It usually presents as large symmetric reddened areas of skin, often at night. The intensity varies from mild discomfort, to complete restlessness day and night.

CKD-aP is associated with poor quality of life, depression, anxiety, sleep disturbance, and increased mortality.

Korsuva (difelikefalin) is the first FDA approved treatment for CKD-aP. It works to alleviate pruritus by selectively targeting peripheral kappa-opioid receptors.

 

Drugs used to treat Chronic Kidney Disease-Associated Pruritus

The following list of medications are in some way related to or used in the treatment of this condition.

Filter
Drug name Rating Reviews Activity ? Rx/OTC Pregnancy CSA Alcohol
gabapentin Off-label Rate Add review
Rx C N X

Generic name: gabapentin systemic

Drug class: gamma-aminobutyric acid analogs

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information

Off-label: Yes

Korsuva Rate Add review
Rx N X

Generic name: difelikefalin systemic

Drug class: peripheral opioid receptor agonists

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: Prescribing Information

difelikefalin Rate Add review
Rx N X

Generic name: difelikefalin systemic

Brand name:  Korsuva

Drug class: peripheral opioid receptor agonists

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: AHFS DI Monograph

pregabalin Off-label Rate Add review
Rx C 5 X

Generic name: pregabalin systemic

Drug class: gamma-aminobutyric acid analogs

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information

Off-label: Yes

Legend

Rating For ratings, users were asked how effective they found the medicine while considering positive/adverse effects and ease of use (1 = not effective, 10 = most effective).
Activity Activity is based on recent site visitor activity relative to other medications in the list.
Rx Prescription only.
OTC Over-the-counter.
Rx/OTC Prescription or Over-the-counter.
Off-label This medication may not be approved by the FDA for the treatment of this condition.
EUA An Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) allows the FDA to authorize unapproved medical products or unapproved uses of approved medical products to be used in a declared public health emergency when there are no adequate, approved, and available alternatives.
Pregnancy Category
A Adequate and well-controlled studies have failed to demonstrate a risk to the fetus in the first trimester of pregnancy (and there is no evidence of risk in later trimesters).
B Animal reproduction studies have failed to demonstrate a risk to the fetus and there are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women.
C Animal reproduction studies have shown an adverse effect on the fetus and there are no adequate and well-controlled studies in humans, but potential benefits may warrant use in pregnant women despite potential risks.
D There is positive evidence of human fetal risk based on adverse reaction data from investigational or marketing experience or studies in humans, but potential benefits may warrant use in pregnant women despite potential risks.
X Studies in animals or humans have demonstrated fetal abnormalities and/or there is positive evidence of human fetal risk based on adverse reaction data from investigational or marketing experience, and the risks involved in use in pregnant women clearly outweigh potential benefits.
N FDA has not classified the drug.
Controlled Substances Act (CSA) Schedule
M The drug has multiple schedules. The schedule may depend on the exact dosage form or strength of the medication.
U CSA Schedule is unknown.
N Is not subject to the Controlled Substances Act.
1 Has a high potential for abuse. Has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States. There is a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision.
2 Has a high potential for abuse. Has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States or a currently accepted medical use with severe restrictions. Abuse may lead to severe psychological or physical dependence.
3 Has a potential for abuse less than those in schedules 1 and 2. Has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States. Abuse may lead to moderate or low physical dependence or high psychological dependence.
4 Has a low potential for abuse relative to those in schedule 3. It has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States. Abuse may lead to limited physical dependence or psychological dependence relative to those in schedule 3.
5 Has a low potential for abuse relative to those in schedule 4. Has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States. Abuse may lead to limited physical dependence or psychological dependence relative to those in schedule 4.
Alcohol
X Interacts with Alcohol.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.