Thirty-four patients with polycythemia vera complicated by pruritus were treated with 900 mg of cimetidine daily for 30 days and their responses to treatment were evaluated. The conditions of 15 (44%) were improved, with 12 patients stating that pruritus completely disappeared. Nineteen patients either showed no improvement or had increasing symptoms. No toxic effects were reported. The positive responses seen are encouraging and suggest that controlled studies are indicated to further evaluate the effectiveness of H2 antagonists.
(Arch Intern Med 1982;142:241-242)