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Innovation Observatory > Reports > Drugs > Difelikefalin for pruritus associated with chronic kidney disease

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Difelikefalin for pruritus associated with chronic kidney disease


Renal Disease and Urology

October 2020

Difelikefalin is intended to treat adult haemodialysis patients with moderate to severe chronic kidney disease-associated pruritus (CKD-aP) (uraemic pruritus). Uraemic pruritus can be very unpleasant; about half of affected individuals become agitated or depressed. Uraemic pruritus in haemodialysis patients is associated with a 17% increase in mortality. Currently there are no approved treatments specifically for this condition.
Difelikefalin is a potent kappa opioid receptor agonist that is an itch and inflammation suppressant. Difelikefalin intravenous injection acts as an itch and inflammation suppressant without the undesirable side-effects typical of a centrally-acting opioid medicine such as hallucinations or opioid addiction. If licensed, difelikefalin will offer an additional treatment option for adult haemodialysis patients with moderate to severe CKD-aP who currently have few effective therapies available.

Innovation Observatory Voice 2

Any idea when CKD-aP sufferers like myself might be able to obtain this medication, either by prescription or over the counter sales. I live in Thailand.

Michael Dennis Godfrey - Posted ago

    Hello Michael, thank you for your comment. I’m afraid once we inform NICE of a new drug technology we stop monitoring the product and gain no further information about the licencing. If you require more information about the drug I recommend reaching out to the company or a physician. Many thanks,

    Abby Scott - Posted ago

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