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Dovonex (Calcipotriene)

A Vitamin D Cream for Psoriasis


Updated December 08, 2007

What is Calcipotriene?

Calcipotriene was created to fill the need of a drug that would suppress rapid skin cell growth (as seen in psoriasis) without upsetting normal calcium metabolism, like natural vitamin D does. It is available as a cream and scalp liquid under the brand name Dovonex. A combination ointment of calcipotriene with a steroid cream is marketed under the name Taclonex. Dovonex works slowly and the cream version is relatively weak. Studies have shown it to be as effective as a strong steroid cream. Nevertheless, it has a valuable role in treating psoriasis in that it has none of the side effects typically expected with the prolonged use of steroid creams. It is sometimes not recommended for use on the face since it can cause redness.

How is it Used?

Dovonex can be applied twice daily, and results are usually seen around 4 to 6 weeks into treatment. It can be used continuously and is safe for patients who have psoriasis on up to 20% of their body. It can be combined with other treatments, including topical steroids and phototherapy.


Camisa C. Handbook of Psoriasis, 2nd Ed. Blackwell Publishing, USA 2004

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