In five patients with primary biliary cirrhosis relief of previously intractable pruritus occurred in two to seven days after onset of azathioprine treatment. It is unlikely that such relief was due to lowering of bile acid levels in serum or skin, or to immunosuppression.
Alarcón-Segovia D, Mayorga-Cortés A, Wolpert E. Primary Biliary Cirrhosis: Prompt Relief of Pruritus With Azathioprine Treatment. JAMA. 1970;214(2):367–368. doi:10.1001/jama.1970.03180020085019
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