Calcipotriene

Calcipotriene treats plaque psoriasis. Avoid excessive sunlight. Wear a hat and clothes that cover the treated areas of your skin if you have to be in sunlight.

Calcipotriene Overview

Reviewed: July 27, 2012
Updated: 

Calcipotriene is a prescription medication used to treat plaque psoriasis. Calcipotriene belongs to a group of drugs called synthetic vitamin D3 derivatives. The exact way calcipotriene works to treat plaque psoriasis is unknown.

This medication comes in the form of a foam. It is usually applied to the affected skin twice daily.

Common side effects of calcipotriene foam are irritation, redness, and itching of the skin treated.

 

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Uses of Calcipotriene

Calcipotriene is a prescription medicine used on the skin to treat plaque psoriasis in adults. This medication is a synthetic form of vitamin D.

This medication may be prescribed for other uses. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Calcipotriene Brand Names

Calcipotriene may be found in some form under the following brand names:

Calcipotriene Drug Class

Calcipotriene is part of the drug class:

Side Effects of Calcipotriene

The most common side effects of calcipotriene foam are:

  • irritation
  • redness
  • itching of the treated skin areas.

Calcipotriene foam can cause high levels of calcium in your blood (hypercalcemia). Symptoms of hypercalcemia include:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Excessive thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Constipation
  • Abdominal pain
  • Muscle weakness
  • Muscle and joint aches
  • Confusion
  • Lethargy and fatigue

This is a potentially serious side effect. If you develop symptoms of hypercalcemia, call your doctor right away.

Tell your doctor if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away. These are not all the possible side effects of calcipotriene. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Calcipotriene Interactions

No calcipotriene drug interactions have been identified, however, you should tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Not all drug interactions are known or reported and new drug interactions are continually being reported.

Tell your doctor if you are taking vitamin D or calcium supplements, lithium (Lithobid, Eskalith), or thiazide diuretics. All of these medications can increase calcium levels in the blood and when combined with calcipotriene, may lead to too high blood calcium levels (hypercalcemia).

Calcipotriene Precautions

Calcipotriene Foam

  • Do not use calcipotriene if you have been told by your doctor that you have a high level of calcium in your blood (hypercalcemia).
  • Keep calcipotriene out of your eyes.
  • Do not use calcipotriene if you are allergic to any of its ingredients.
  • Avoid excessive exposure of the treated areas to either natural or artificial sunlight, including tanning beds and sun lamps.
  • Avoid fire, flame, or smoking during and immediately following application since calcipotriene is flammable.

Calcipotriene Food Interactions

Medicines can interact with certain foods. In some cases, this may be harmful and your doctor may advise you to avoid certain foods. In the case of calcipotriene there are no specific foods that you must exclude from your diet when receiving calcipotriene.

Inform MD

Before you use calcipotriene, tell your doctor if you:

• are getting light therapy for your psoriasis
• have any other medical conditions
• are pregnant or planning to become pregnant
• are breastfeeding 
 
Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
 

Calcipotriene and Pregnancy

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant. It is not known if calcipotriene will harm your unborn baby. 

Calcipotriene and Lactation

Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. It is not known if calcipotriene passes into breast milk. Do not apply calcipotriene to the chest area if you are breastfeeding a baby. This will help to prevent the baby from accidentally getting calcipotriene into their mouth.

Calcipotriene Usage

Apply calcipotriene foam exactly as prescribed.

  • Calcipotriene is usually applied to the affected skin areas two times each day.
  • Calcipotriene is for use on the skin only. Do not get the foam in your eyes, mouth or vagina.
  • Calcipotriene foam is flammable. Avoid fire, flame, or smoking during and right after you apply foam to your skin.
  • Avoid excessive sunlight. Wear a hat and clothes that cover the treated areas of your skin if you have to be in sunlight.

Applying calcipotriene foam

  • Before applying calcipotriene for the first time, break the tiny plastic piece at the base of the can’s rim by gently pushing back (away from the piece) on the nozzle. 
  • Shake the can before use. 
  • Turn the can upside down and press the nozzle.
  • Dispense a small amount of foam into the palm of your hand.
  • Use enough foam to cover the affected area with a thin layer. Gently rub the foam into the affected area until it disappears into the skin.
  • Avoid getting foam in or near the eyes, mouth, or vagina. Wash hands after applying calcipotriene (excluding affected areas of the hands).

 

Calcipotriene Dosage

Use calcipotriene as directed by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully. Do not adjust your dose without the advice of your doctor.

Calcipotriene Foam is usually applied to the affected skin areas two times each day.

Talk to your doctor if your skin does not improve after treatment with calcipotriene foam after 8 weeks.

Calcipotriene Overdose

If you use too much calcipotriene, call your local Poison Control Center or seek emergency medical attention right away.

Other Requirements

Calcipotriene foam

  • Do not place calcipotriene foam in the refrigerator or freezer.
  • Store at room temperature.
  • Keep this and all medications out of the reach of children.