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Original Articles
April 1962

Guanethidine as an Antipruritic: Special Reference to Atopic Dermatitis

Author Affiliations

Venia Docendi of Dermatology, University of Buenos Aires.

Arch Dermatol. 1962;85(4):472-475. doi:10.1001/archderm.1962.01590040036003

The antipruritic action of guanethidine has not been related up till now to its sympathicoplegic properties. We have studied its effects in a number of dermatoses with special reference to atopic dermatitis. We have thought that its use in this last group of cases is fully justified. The train of thought leading to this form of treatment makes it necessary to go into some fundamental ideas on the mechanisms of atopy and on the pharmacological properties of guanethidine.

Importance of Vascular Factor in Development of Atopy  Atopic dermatitis can be defined as a complex of skin manifestations which are characteristic of a systemic disease which also affects the nervous, resepiratory, gastro-intestinal, and vascular systems. Atopy is characterized by a hyper-reaction of the affected systems to a large number of different stimuli. The disease has a hereditary tendency and may appear in childhood and continue throughout life, frequently affecting one system