Twenty-three chronic uremic patients on maintenance hemodialysis and suffering from severe pruritus were treated with activated powdered charcoal (6 g daily p.o.)· In 10 patients pruritus disappeared completely, and in 10 other patients a partial effect was observed. The favorable results persisted for several weeks after discontinuation of the treatment. Only 3 cases were totally unresponsive. No relevant undesirable side effects were observed with the exception of 1 case who showed treatment intolerance. It is concluded that activated charcoal per os is a safe, effective, and low-cost therapy for patients with uremic pruritus, but its mechanism of action is unknown.