Which medications in the drug class Vitamin D Analogs are used in the treatment of Psoriasis?

Updated: Nov 20, 2020
  • Author: Jacquiline Habashy, DO, MSc; Chief Editor: William D James, MD  more...
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Answer

Vitamin D Analogs

Vitamin D analogs are used in patients with lesions resistant to topical therapy or with lesions on the face or exposed areas where thinning of the skin would pose cosmetic problems. These come as ointments, solutions, and foams. The latter two are especially useful for scalp treatments.

Calcitriol ointment (Vectical)

Calcitriol is a topical vitamin D analog similar to calcipotriene but seems to be less irritating in sensitive areas of skin.

Calcipotriene (Dovonex, Sorilux, Calcitrene)

Calcipotriene is a synthetic vitamin D-3 analog that regulates skin cell production and development. It is used in the treatment of moderate plaque psoriasis. This treatment does not cause long-term skin thinning or systemic effects. Sorilux is a newer foam version of this medication.

Calcipotriene/betamethasone (Enstilar, Taclonex Ointment, Taclonex Topical Suspension)

Calcipotriene is a synthetic vitamin D-3 analog that regulates skin cell production and development. It inhibits epidermal proliferation, promotes keratinocyte differentiation, and has immunosuppressive effects on lymphoid cells. Betamethasone is a corticosteroid that decreases inflammation by suppressing migration of polymorphonuclear leukocytes and reversing capillary permeability. The combination is available as a topical ointment, foam, or as a solution that can be applied to the body or scalp. The products contain calcipotriene 0.005% and betamethasone dipropionate 0.064%.

The combination product is quite expensive and the same results may be obtained by using a generic corticosteroid sequentially in combination with one of the other vitamin D analog products.


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