Pain and itch are both important manifestations of various disorders, such as herpes zoster, atopic dermatitis, and psoriasis. Growing evidence suggests that both sensations have shared mediators, overlapping neural circuitry, and similarities in sensitization processes. In fact, pain and itch coexist in some disorders. Determining pharmaceutical agents and targets for treating pain and itch concurrently is of scientific and clinical relevance. Here we review the neurobiology of pain and itch and discuss the pharmaceutical targets as well as novel compounds effective for the concurrent treatment of these sensations.
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