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June 16, 1956


JAMA. 1956;161(7):604-606. doi:10.1001/jama.1956.02970070036009

• Certain dermatoses that are generally recognized as affected by psychogenic stimuli were treated with hydroxyzine hydrochloride, a tranquilizing drug administered by mouth. The initial dosage was 10 mg. four times a day in 48 patients and 25 mg. four times a day in 111 patients. The ataraxic (relaxing) effect, as judged from the statements by the patients, was satisfactory in 132 and fair or insignificant in 27. The condition of the skin was evaluated objectively in 41 patients who had general atopic dermatitis, localized neurodermatitis, pruritus ani, or factitious dermatitis and who were given the drug and a placebo alternately. Of the 41, 36 showed clinical improvement while taking the drug and recrudescence while taking the placebo.

Side-effects, which included headache, sleepiness, dryness of the mouth, and itching, were generally infrequent and mild. In one case the headache made it necessary to discontinue giving the drug. No evidence of damage to the blood, kidneys, or liver was seen in patients who took the drug for six weeks or more. The demonstrated tension-relieving action of the drug explained the objective evidence of its usefulness in dermatology.