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Omega-3 fatty acids for uremic pruritus: A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials


1 Department of Chinese Medicine, Taipei Tzu Chi Hospital, Buddhist Tzu Chi Medical Foundation, New Taipei; School of Post-Baccalaureate Chinese Medicine, Tzu Chi University, Hualien, Taiwan
2 Department of Dermatology, Mackay Memorial Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan
3 Department of Medicine, MacKay Medical College, New Taipei; Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Department of Internal Medicine, MacKay Memorial Hospital, Taipei; Graduate Institute of Clinical Medicine, College of Medicine, Taipei Medical University, Taipei, Taiwan
4 Department of Research, Taipei Tzu Chi Hospital, Buddhist Tzu Chi Medical Foundation, New Taipei, Taiwan
5 Department of Dermatology, Mackay Memorial Hospital, Taipei; Department of Medicine, Mackay Medical College, New Taipei, Taiwan
6 School of Post-Baccalaureate Chinese Medicine, Tzu Chi University, Hualien; Department of Medicine, Mackay Medical College, New Taipei; Division of Nephrology, Taipei Tzu Chi Hospital, Buddhist Tzu Chi Medical Foundation, New Taipei, Taiwan

Correspondence Address:
Ko-Lin Kuo,
Division of Nephrology, Taipei Tzu Chi Hospital, Buddhist Tzu Chi Medical Foundation, 289, Jianguo Road, Xindian District, New Taipei
Taiwan
Po-Hsuan Lu,
Department of Medicine, Mackay Medical College, 46, Section 3, Zhongzheng Road, Sanzhi District, New Taipei
Taiwan
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/tcmj.tcmj_221_21

Uremic pruritus (UP) is common in the late stages of chronic kidney disease. Currently, there is a lack of effective treatment for UP. Limited evidence exists on the therapeutic effect of omega-3 fatty acid (O3FA). The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of O3FA supplements in UP patients. We evaluated the efficacy of O3FA supplements in patients with UP through a systematic review and a meta-analysis of randomized control trials retrieved from PubMed, Embase, Cochrane Library, CINAHL, and ClinicalTrials.gov databases. The included studies were summarized and assessed for the risk of bias, and pruritus assessment results were analyzed. To compared with a controlled group, five articles including 164 participants published between 2012 and 2019 using different pruritus scales reported that patients taking O3FA supplement exhibited no significant decrease in the pruritus score (standardized mean difference [SMD] =1.34, 95% confidence interval [CI] = −2.70–0.01, P = 0.05), but three articles using same pruritus scale significant decrease Duo pruritus score (SMD = −0.85, 95% CI = −1.39 to −0.30, P < 0.05). O3FA supplement could be an appealing complementary therapy for UP patients. More rigorously designed studies are needed before recommending the O3FA supplement.


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