Calcipotriene (On the skin)


Calcipotriene (kal-si-poe-TRYE-een)

Treats plaque psoriasis in adults.

Brand Name(s)

Calcitrene, Dovonex, Sorilux

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

How to Use This Medicine

Cream, Foam, Liquid, Ointment

  • Take your medicine as directed.
  • Use this medicine only on your skin. Rinse it off right away if it gets on a cut or scrape. Do not get the medicine in your eyes, nose, or mouth.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water before and after you use this medicine. If the skin on your hands is being treated with the medicine, only wash the skin that is not affected.
  • Cream or ointment: Apply a thin layer to the red, scaly patches on your skin. Rub it in gently until it disappears into the skin. Do not get any medicine on your face or in your eyes.
  • Liquid on your scalp: First comb your dry hair to remove extra skin flakes and scales. Part your hair so you can see the patches on your scalp. Then apply the liquid only to the affected patches. Rub it in gently until it disappears into the scalp. Do not get any medicine on your forehead or in your eyes.
  • Foam: Break the tiny plastic piece on the nozzle of the can. Shake the can before each use. Turn the can upside down and place a small amount into the palm of your hand. Apply a thin layer to the affected area of the skin. Rub it in gently until it disappears into the skin. If using on the scalp, apply when your hair is dry. Do not use the medicine in or near your eyes, mouth, or vagina.
  • The liquid and foam are flammable and could catch on fire. Do not use these medicines near heat, an open flame, or while smoking.
  • Read and follow the patient instructions that come with this medicine. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.

If a dose is missed:

  • Apply a dose as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then and apply a regular dose. Do not apply extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine

  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Do not freeze.
  • The scalp solution and foam are flammable. Keep them away from an open flame or heat. Do not smoke when you are applying the medicine. Do not poke holes in the foam canister or throw it into a fire, even if the canister is empty. Do not keep the foam inside a car where it could be exposed to extreme heat.
  • Ask your pharmacist or doctor how to dispose of the medicine container and any leftover or expired medicine.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Tell your doctor if you are getting light therapy for your psoriasis.
  • Do not put cosmetics or skin care products on the treated skin.

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have other medical problems.
  • Stop using this medicine and check with your doctor right away if you have a skin rash, burning, stinging, redness, swelling, or irritation on the skin.
  • This medicine may make your skin more sensitive to sunlight. Wear sunscreen. Do not use sunlamps or tanning beds.
  • Do not use this medicine to treat a skin problem your doctor has not examined.
  • Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve or if they get worse.
  • Your doctor will check your progress and the effects of this medicine at regular visits. Keep all appointments. Blood tests may be needed to check for any unwanted effects.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Burning, pain, redness, or peeling of the skin
  • Extreme confusion or mood swings
  • Increase in thirst or how often you urinate
  • Muscle weakness
  • Severe stomach pain, nausea, vomiting
  • Uneven heartbeat
  • Worsening of psoriasis

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Constipation
  • Loss of appetite
  • Mild redness or pain where you apply the medicine

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Version Info

  • Last reviewed on 8/4/2014

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