Difelikefalin for pruritus associated with chronic kidney disease

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Indications: Pruritus
Year: 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.