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Dovonex (calcipotriene) is used to treat psoriasis. It works by controlling the overproduction of skin cells in areas affected by psoriasis.
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DOVONEX DRUG INFO
is used to treat psoriasis. It works by controlling the overproduction of skin cells in areas affected by psoriasis.
Calcipotriene is available only with your doctor's prescription in the following dosage forms:
- Cream (U.S. and Canada)
- Ointment (U.S. and Canada)
- Solution (U.S. and Canada)
Before Using This Medicine
In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of using the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For calcipotriene, the following should be considered:
Allergies—Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to calcipotriene or to other ingredients of the preparation, which you may find listed on the label. Also tell your health care professional if you are allergic to any other substances, such as foods, preservatives, or dyes.
Pregnancy—Calcipotriene has not been studied in pregnant women. However, studies in animals have shown that calcipotriene taken in high doses by mouth causes problems in the mother and the fetus, including birth defects. Before using this medicine, make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or if you may become pregnant.
Breast-feeding—It is not known whether calcipotriene passes into breast milk. Although most medicines pass into breast milk in small amounts, many of them may be used safely while breast-feeding. Mothers who are using this medicine and who wish to breast-feed should discuss this with their doctor.
Children—This medicine has been tested in a limited number of children 2 to 14 years of age with psoriasis on less than 30% of the body. When used for 8 weeks or less, the medicine has not been shown to cause different side effects or problems than it does in adults. However, more studies are needed.
Older adults—Skin-related side effects caused by calcipotriene may be more severe when they occur in patients over 65 years of age.
Other medicines—Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. Tell your health care professional if you are taking or using any other prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicine.
Other medical problems—
The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of calcipotriene. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
- Highly irritated areas of psoriasis on the scalp—Calcipotriene topical solution may increase the skin irritation because of the alcohol in the product
- Hypercalcemia (high blood levels of calcium) or
- Hypercalciuria (high urine levels of calcium) or
- Hypervitaminosis D (high blood levels of vitamin D)—Calcipotriene may increase the chance of kidney stone formation
- Kidney stones (or history of)—Calcipotriene may make this condition worse
How should I use calcipotriene topical?
Apply calcipotriene topical exactly as directed by your doctor. If you do not understand these instructions, ask your pharmacist, nurse, or doctor to explain them to you.
Wash your hands before and after applying this medication, unless you are using it to treat a hand condition.
Clean and dry the area of skin where you will apply calcipotriene topical. Apply the medication only to the affected area.
Do not apply calcipotriene topical to eyes, mouth, face, mucous membranes, open sores, or irritated skin. If you get medication on any of these areas, rinse it off with water.
Calcipotriene topical is usually applied once or twice a day.
Do not apply more calcipotriene topical than is prescribed by your doctor. Never apply more than 100 grams in a week.
It may take 2 weeks to see the effects of this drug. Do not stop using calcipotriene topical if you do not see results immediately.
Store calcipotriene topical at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
For topical dosage form (ointment):
For topical dosage form (solution):
- For psoriasis:
- Adults—Apply to the affected area(s) of the skin one or two times a day, in the morning and evening. Treatment may be continued for six to eight weeks or as determined by your doctor.
- Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
- For psoriasis:
- Adults—Apply to the affected area(s) of the scalp two times a day, in the morning and evening. Treatment may be continued for six to eight weeks or as determined by your doctor.
- Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
If you miss a dose of this medicine, apply it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.
To store this medicine:
- Keep out of the reach of children.
- Store away from heat and direct light.
- Keep the medicine from freezing. Do not refrigerate.
- Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed. Be sure that any discarded medicine is out of the reach of children.
- Keep the topical solution away from open flame.
Precautions While Using Dovonex
Calcipotriene may cause irritation of the affected area(s) of your skin for a short time after you have applied it. Sometimes it may also cause irritation of the surrounding normal skin. If this happens, try not to scratch the area.
If the irritation continues, if you develop rash on your face, or if the medicine causes any other problems for you, stop using the medicine and check with your doctor.
You may have to see your doctor regularly while using this medicine so that your doctor can check for any side effects, especially an increase in the level of calcium in your blood or urine, because this may lead to kidney stone formation.
Your doctor may tell you when you should expect to notice an improvement in your condition (usually within 2 to 8 weeks). If your condition has not improved by then or if it becomes worse, check with your doctor.
Side Effects of Dovonex
Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:
- Redness and swelling of skin with itching;
worsening of psoriasis, including spreading to the face and scalp
Rare—for ointment dosage form only
- Abdominal or stomach pain, constipation, depression, loss of appetite, loss of weight, muscle weakness, nausea, thirst, tiring easily, and vomiting;
burning, itching, and pain in hairy areas;
pus in the hair follicles;
thinning, weakness, or wasting away of skin
Other side effects of Dovonex may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. However, check with your doctor if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome:
- Burning, dryness, irritation, peeling, or redness of skin
Less common or rare—for cream and ointment dosage forms only
- Darkening of treated areas of skin
Other side effects not listed above may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your doctor.