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Objective. To compare the safety and efficacy of doxepin and hydroxyzine in the treatment of chronic pruritus due to exposure to sulfur mustard.

Methods. In a randomized, double-blind safety and efficacy study, 50 patients with chronic pruritus were given either doxepin 10 mg/d or hydroxyzine 25 mg/d for 4 weeks. Pruritic score was calculated for each patient before treatment and 1 month after.

Results. After treatment, the mean pruritic scores ± SD of the hydroxyzine and doxepin groups were 16.7±2.3 and 17.8±2.5, respectively. The severity of pruritus was decreased in 80% of patients in the hydroxyzine group and 75% in the doxepin group (P=.786). Eighteen patients in the hydroxyzine group and 14 patients in the doxepin group reported sedation.

Conclusions.Both hydroxyzine and doxepin are effective and have equivalent results in controlling the symptoms of patients with chronic pruritus due to exposure to sulfur mustard.