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Antihistamines superior to topical steroids in HIV-associated popular pruritic eruptions


An open retrospective study assessed the effects of promethazine (2 x 25 mg/day; n = 50) or topical hydrocortisone 1% (n = 18) once daily for 1 month in patients with HIV-associated popular pruritic eruptions (PPE). Promethazine significantly decreased the mean itching score from 6.6 to 2.8 (P < 0.0001) while topical hydrocortisone nonsignificantly decreased it from 6.2 to 5.2. Moreover, promethazine patients had a significantly lower mean clinical score of 1.3 versus 1.86 in the topical hydrocortisone group (P = 0.0320). PPE disease activity did not correlate with CD4+ and CD8+ T-cell counts or antiretroviral administration (Navarini, A.A. et al. Int J Dermatol 2009, 49(1): 83).

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