Itch in familial lichen amyloidosis: effective treatment with amitriptyline in two cases.
Itch is a characteristic feature of lichen amyloidosis and the symptom can be debilitating. Treatments, however, are generally not effective. We report amitriptyline as a novel therapy in treating itch in two patients with familial lichen amyloidosis who did not respond to prior potent topical corticosteroids and antihistamines. Outcomes of treatment were assessed using the itch score on a visual analog scale, itch frequency, and the Dermatology Life Quality Index (DLQI). After taking amitriptyline 10 mg o.n. for 6 weeks, the itch score of one patient was reduced from 8.5 to 2 of 10, whereas the second patient's itch score was reduced from 5 to 1. In the latter, his DLQI concurrently reduced from 14 to 6 of 30. Pathophysiology of itch in lichen amyloidosis may involve both cutaneous and neural components and amitriptyline is known to be useful for neuropathic itch. Low-dose amitriptyline poses little risk of side effects and may offer an effective and safe alternative for the treatment of itch in familial cutaneous amyloidosis.
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