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J Ren Nutr. 2013 Jul;23(4):308-14. doi: 10.1053/j.jrn.2012.12.007. Epub 2013 Feb 27.

The effect of ergocalciferol on uremic pruritus severity: a randomized controlled trial.

Author information

1
Division of Nephrology, Winthrop University Hospital, Mineola, New York, USA. sshirazian@winthrop.org

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Hemodialysis (HD) patients have a high prevalence of pruritus. 25-Hydroxy vitamin D deficiency is common in this population and may play a role in its etiology. Because of this, we studied whether vitamin D2 treatment with ergocalciferol is effective for relief of uremic pruritus severity as measured by pruritus severity surveys.

DESIGN, SETTING, AND SUBJECTS:

In this double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized trial, the effect of 12 weeks of ergocalciferol administration on uremic pruritus severity was evaluated.

INTERVENTION:

Fifty HD patients randomly received either ergocalciferol 50,000 international units (IU) or placebo once weekly for 12 weeks.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE:

Pruritus severity surveys were completed every 2 weeks by all patients starting from baseline until 12 weeks and serve as the main outcome variable.

RESULTS:

Twenty-five study participants were randomized to ergocalciferol therapy and 25 were randomized to placebo. At baseline, the only significant difference between the two groups was time on dialysis and white blood cell count. Both groups experienced a decrease in pruritus scores from the beginning to the end of study (percent change -38.9% in the treatment group vs. -47.5% in the placebo group). By intention to treat, the treatment × time effect was not statistically significant (F = 0.71, df = (1, 282), P = .34), indicating that the pruritus score was not significantly lower in the treatment group than the placebo group throughout the study.

CONCLUSION:

In conclusion, we did not find ergocalciferol to be effective for the treatment of uremic pruritus.

TRIAL REGISTRATION:

ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01114672.

PMID:
23453391
DOI:
10.1053/j.jrn.2012.12.007
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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