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Methoxsalen lotion

Generic Name: methoxsalen (meth-OX-ah-len)
Brand Name: Oxsoralen

Methoxsalen lotion is powerful and could produce severe burns if improperly used. Methoxsalen lotion must never be dispensed to a patient. A doctor using special light conditions must apply methoxsalen lotion.


Methoxsalen lotion is used for:

Treating vitiligo in combination with controlled doses of ultraviolet A (UVA) or sunlight. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Methoxsalen lotion is a psoralen used in combination with light therapy. It works by making the skin more sensitive to UV light. It appears that this sensitivity results in damage to the skin cells when UV light treatment is given. Damaged skin cells grow more slowly and the rate of tissue growth is reduced.

Do NOT use methoxsalen lotion if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in methoxsalen lotion or to similar medicines
  • you have a light-sensitive disease (eg, the blood disease porphyria, lupus, xeroderma pigmentosum)
  • you have a history of melanoma or certain types of skin cancer
  • your skin is sensitive to the sun or light

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

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Before using methoxsalen lotion:

Some medical conditions may interact with methoxsalen lotion. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you are fair-skinned, have a history of coal tar UV treatment, or ionizing radiation, or have taken arsenic compounds or oral psoralen UVA treatment
  • if you have other skin conditions, an infection, or a history of heart or blood vessel disease

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with methoxsalen lotion. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Hydantoins (eg, phenytoin) because the effectiveness of methoxsalen lotion may be decreased

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if methoxsalen lotion may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use methoxsalen lotion:

Use methoxsalen lotion as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Methoxsalen lotion is usually applied at your doctor's office or a clinic.
  • Methoxsalen lotion is applied only in small well-defined lesions and preferably on lesions that can be protected by clothing or sunscreen from later exposure to UVA.
  • If you miss a dose of methoxsalen lotion, contact your doctor right away.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use methoxsalen lotion.

Important safety information:

  • After you begin methoxsalen lotion and light therapy, several weeks to months may pass before you see an improvement in your condition.
  • Do not sunbathe for at least 24 hours before receiving methoxsalen lotion and light therapy. After your treatment, avoid any exposure to sunlight for at least 8 hours. This includes indirect light through a window or on cloudy days. If you can not avoid exposure to sunlight, wear protective clothing, or use a sunscreen with a sun protective factor (SPF) of 15 or greater, as directed by your doctor. Protect all areas of the body, including lips, from sun exposure. Do not sunbathe or use a tanning booth without checking with your doctor and wait at least 48 hours after your treatment.
  • Serious burns from either UV light or sunlight (even through a window glass) can occur if the recommended doses of methoxsalen lotion or exposure schedules are not maintained.
  • The treated area may be highly sensitive to sunlight for several days and may cause severe burning if exposed to additional UV or sunlight. Protect the treated areas with clothing or sunscreen.
  • Return of skin color may begin after a few weeks, but significant color may require 6 to 9 months of treatment.
  • Exposure to sunlight or UV radiation may cause early aging of the skin.
  • During treatment with methoxsalen lotion and UVA light, wear total UVA absorbing/blocking goggles designed to provide maximal protection of the eyes.
  • Protect stomach skin, breasts, genitals, and other sensitive areas for about one third of the exposure time until tanning occurs.Unless affected by disease, male genitals should be shielded.
  • Be careful using methoxsalen lotion with other light-sensitizing medicines. Tell your doctor if you are taking any of the following medicines: anthralin, coal tar and derivatives, griseofulvin, phenothiazines, nalidixic acid, fluoroquinolone antibiotics, halogenated salicylanilides, bacteriostatic soaps, staining dyes (eg, methylene blue, toluidine blue, rose bengal, methyl orange), sulfonamides, tetracyclines, or thiazide diuretics.
  • LAB TESTS may be performed to monitor your progress or to check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
  • Use methoxsalen lotion with caution in the ELDERLY because they may be more sensitive to its effects.
  • Methoxsalen lotion is not recommended for use in CHILDREN younger than 12 years of age. Safety and effectiveness in this age group have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, discuss with your doctor the benefits and risks of using methoxsalen lotion during pregnancy. It is unknown if methoxsalen lotion is excreted in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you are using methoxsalen lotion, check with your doctor or pharmacist to discuss the risks to your baby.

Possible side effects of methoxsalen lotion:

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Dryness or redness of the skin; itching.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); blistering; burns on the treated area from overexposure to UVA or sunlight; severe swelling or redness of the skin; swelling of the feet or lower legs; tenderness.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include blisters; burns. Methoxsalen lotion may be harmful if swallowed.

Proper storage of methoxsalen lotion:

Methoxsalen lotion is usually handled and stored by a health care provider. If you are using methoxsalen lotion at home, store methoxsalen lotion as directed by your pharmacist or health care provider. Keep methoxsalen lotion out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about methoxsalen lotion, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Methoxsalen lotion is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take methoxsalen lotion or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about methoxsalen lotion. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to methoxsalen lotion. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using methoxsalen lotion.

Issue Date: July 2, 2014
Database Edition 14.3.1.001
Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

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