Odevixibat: A Novel Bile Salt Inhibitor Treatment for Pruritus in Progressive Familial Intrahepatic Cholestasis

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title



Chronic pruritus is defined as an itch lasting greater than six weeks. It can manifest from a wide variety of etiologies, as many different substances can act as pruritogens, such as steroids, histamine, progesterone, endogenous opioids, and serotonin. In the setting of cholestatic liver disease, increased bile acids play a major role in chronic pruritus. The itching in cholestatic liver disease is worsened in intensity at night and localized frequently to the palms, soles, knees, and other pressure sites. It can be hard to manage, affecting the quality of sleep and causing irritability, poor attention, and, in some cases, depression. One such disease that results from chronic pruritus is progressive familial intrahepatic cholestasis (PFIC), a group of uncommon hereditary disorders that affects the formation of bile and its outflow from the liver. Previously, the drug ursodeoxycholic acid was used to help manage pruritus or surgical procedures, e.g., partial external biliary diversion or partial internal biliary diversion, to help control complications of the disease. This literature review will discuss three clinical studies covering the effectiveness of odevixibat in treating pruritus in patients with PFIC. Odevixibat (Bylvay) is an oral drug that has been FDA-approved to treat pruritus in patients three months of age and older with PFIC. Odevixibat prevents the reabsorption of bile salts in the intestines, resulting in decreased levels of bile salts via their excretion in stool. Several studies have determined that the drug is well tolerated and provides a nonsurgical, pharmacological treatment alternative for those with PFIC.

First Page


PubMed ID






This document is currently not available here.