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Drugs

Side Effects
Serious

No serious side effects have been reported in association with the use of calcipotriene.
Common

Temporary burning, tingling, and stinging; rash; peeling. Consult your doctor if these symptoms persist.
Less Common

Skin irritation, dry skin, worsening of psoriasis, thinning of the skin, darkening of the skin.
Calcipotriene


Drug Class:
Vitamin D analog

Available OTC?: No

Available Generic?: No

Available In
Why Prescribed
How It Works
Range and Frequency
Onset of Effect
Duration of Action
Dietary Advice
Storage
Missed Dose
Stopping the Drug
Prolonged Use
Over 60
Driving and Hazardous Work
Alcohol
Pregnancy
Breast Feeding
Infants and Children
Overdose Symptoms
What to Do
Drug Interactions
Food Interactions
Disease Interactions


Available In
Cream, ointment, scalp solution

Why Prescribed
Cream and ointment are used to treat mild to moderate psoriasis in adults. Scalp solution is used to treat chronic, moderately severe psoriasis of the scalp.

How It Works
Calcipotriene is a synthetic form of vitamin D. It appears to slow excessive growth of skin cells; however, the exact mechanism of action is unknown.

Range and Frequency
Cream and ointment: Apply a thin layer to the affected area once or twice daily and rub in evenly. Do not apply to the face. Scalp solution: Comb through the hair to remove scaly debris. Apply calcipotriene only to the lesions and rub in evenly. Do not allow the solution to spread to the forehead or other unaffected areas. Wash hands thoroughly after use.

Onset of Effect
Within 24 hours.

Duration of Action
Unknown.

Dietary Advice
Calcipotriene can be used without regard to diet.

Storage
Store in a tightly sealed container away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Do not allow it to freeze. Keep the scalp solution away from open flame.

Missed Dose
Apply it as soon as you remember.

Stopping the Drug
The decision to stop taking the drug should be made in consultation with your physician.

Prolonged Use
Treatment periods, depending on the severity of the psoriasis, generally last 8 weeks but have been approved to continue for up to 1 year.

Over 60
Adverse reactions may be more likely and more severe in older patients.

Driving and Hazardous Work
The use of calcipotriene should not impair your ability to perform such tasks safely.

Alcohol
No special precautions are necessary.

Pregnancy
Adequate human studies have not been done. Before taking calcipotriene, tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

Breast Feeding
Calcipotriene may pass into breast milk; caution is advised. Consult your doctor for specific advice.

Infants and Children
Not recommended for use by children under age 12.

Overdose Symptoms
Small amounts of the medication are absorbed through the skin. Symptoms of an overdose are due to elevated levels of blood calcium (hypercalcemia). Early symptoms of hypercalcemia: Constipation (especially in children), diarrhea, dry mouth, increased thirst and frequency of urination, persistent headache, loss of appetite, metallic taste, nausea and vomiting, unusual fatigue. Advanced symptoms: Bone and muscle pain, irregular heartbeat, persistent itching, extreme drowsiness, mental changes. Severe calcium toxicity may be fatal.

What to Do
Call your doctor, emergency medical services (EMS), or the nearest poison control center immediately.

Drug Interactions
No known drug interactions.

Food Interactions
No known food interactions.

Disease Interactions
You should not take calcipotriene if you have high blood levels of calcium (hypercalcemia) or evidence of vitamin D toxicity.

Date Published: 04/13/2005
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