The efficacy of ebastine (Ebastel®), a second-generation antihistamine, for the treatment of pruritic skin disease was assessed by performing a questionnaire survey. Twenty-four patients who had atopic dermatitis and primarily presented with pruritus were treated with ebastine (10 mg once daily) for 4 weeks. Before and after the 4-week treatment period, the patients were asked to assess their pruritic symptoms by using a self-administered questionnaire. The questionnaire covered various aspects and the questions were randomly sorted to minimize interactions that could potentially bias the answers to successive questions. Four weeks of treatment with ebastine significantly reduced the frequency, severity, and intensity (VAS score) of pruritus, confirming that this drug effectively suppresses pruritus. Ebastine treatment also significantly relieved nocturnal pruritus that had caused sleep disturbance and thus improved daily activities, resulting in overall improvement of the patients' quality of life that had been impaired by pruritus. Compared with the response to prior treatment, the antipruritic effect of ebastine appeared more rapidly and persisted for a comparable duration after each dose. These results indicate that ebastine has a rapid and durable antipruritic effect, while causing fewer adverse events such as drowsiness, suggesting that this second-generation antihistamine may be a more satisfactory antipruritic agent for patients.
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