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J Dermatol. 2007 Apr;34(4):237-42.

Treatment of idiopathic prurigo nodularis in Taiwanese patients with low-dose thalidomide.

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Department of Dermatology, Graduate Institute of Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan.


Prurigo nodularis is an intensely pruritic dermatosis characterized by lichenified and excoriated papules and nodules. The course of prurigo nodularis is often chronic, and some patients respond very poorly to the standard therapeutic modalities. Because the pathogenesis of this disease remains obscure, the treatment of prurigo nodularis can be disappointing and frustrating for both the patients and physicians. Thalidomide, a tumor necrosis factor-alpha antagonist, has been suggested as an alternative treatment option for recalcitrant prurigo nodularis. In the past, the regimen for treatment of prurigo nodularis often required thalidomide at 200 mg/day. We recruited patients with intractable prurigo nodularis and treated them with low-dose thalidomide. Six patients with idiopathic prurigo nodularis were successfully treated with low-dose thalidomide (50-100 mg/day) without clinical development of peripheral neuropathy. In summary, our preliminary results suggest that low-dose thalidomide may be a safe and effective treatment option for patients with recalcitrant idiopathic prurigo nodularis.

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