Generic Name: methoxsalen (meth OX a len)
Brand Name: 8-Mop, Oxsoralen-Ultra
What is Oxsoralen-Ultra (methoxsalen)?
Methoxsalen is a naturally occurring substance that is reactive to light. It works by enhancing the body's sensitivity to ultraviolet light A (UVA).
Methoxsalen is used in combination with UVA light therapy to treat severe psoriasis.
Methoxsalen is usually given after other psoriasis medications have been tried without successful treatment of symptoms.
Methoxsalen may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
What is the most important information I should know about Oxsoralen-Ultra (methoxsalen)?
You should not use this medication if you are allergic to methoxsalen, if you have a condition that makes you more sensitive to light (lupus, porphyria, albinism, and others), or if you have a history of skin cancer or damage to the lenses of your eyes due to surgery, injury, or genetic condition.
Before taking methoxsalen, tell your doctor if you have heart disease, kidney or liver disease, a history of cataracts, a skin pigment disorder, if you are extremely sensitive to sunlight, if you have ever received radiation or x-ray therapy, or if you have recently gained or lost weight.
After taking methoxsalen and receiving UVA treatment, you must protect your eyes and skin from natural sunlight (even sun shining through a window). You may develop cataracts if you do not properly protect your eyes after you are treated with methoxsalen and UVA treatment.
Call your doctor at once if you have severe skin redness within 24 hours after UVA treatment, or if you have any severe effects on your skin such as swelling, itching, discomfort, blisters, or severe rash.
There are many other drugs that can interact with methoxsalen, including drugs applied to the skin. Tell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.
What should I discuss with my health care provider before taking Oxsoralen-Ultra (methoxsalen)?
You should not use this medication if you are allergic to methoxsalen, or if you have:
a history of skin cancer;
lupus, porphyria, albinism, or other conditions that make you more sensitive to light; or
damage to the lenses of your eyes caused by surgery, injury, or genetic condition.
Before your UVA treatment: Do not expose your skin to sunlight for at least 24 hours before you take methoxsalen. Avoid applying sunscreen to areas of psoriasis that will be treated with UVA therapy.
You may need to have your eyes examined before you start taking methoxsalen.
To make sure you can safely take methoxsalen, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:
a history of cataracts;
a skin pigment disorder;
if you are extremely sensitive to sunlight;
if you have ever received radiation or x-ray therapy; or
if you have recently gained or lost weight.
FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether methoxsalen will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medication.
It is not known whether methoxsalen passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while you are using methoxsalen.
How should I take Oxsoralen-Ultra (methoxsalen)?
Take exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label. Taking too much methoxsalen can cause your skin to be overly sensitive to light, and severe sunburn may result.
Take this medication with low-fat food or milk if it upsets your stomach.
The methoxsalen soft gelatin capsule is more easily absorbed in the body than the hard gelatin capsule. For this reason, you may be sensitive to UVA treatment more quickly after taking the soft gelatin capsule.
Methoxsalen is usually taken 90 minutes to 2 hours before you are scheduled to receive UVA treatment. The timing of your medication may depend on whether you are taking the soft gelatin capsule or the hard gelatin capsule. You may need to keep taking methoxsalen once every other day after your UVA treatment.
Methoxsalen will make your skin more sensitive to sunlight and sunburn may result, which could interfere with your psoriasis treatment.
For at least 8 hours after you take methoxsalen:
Avoid exposure to sunlight or tanning beds.
Even sunlight shining through clouds or through a glass window can expose you to harmful UV rays.
Wear protective clothing and use sunscreen (SPF 15 or higher) when you are outdoors or near a window.
Do not apply sunscreen to areas of active psoriasis that will be treated with UVA therapy.
For 24 to 48 hours after you receive UVA treatment:
You must protect your skin and eyes from natural sunlight (even sun shining through a window).
Wear sunglasses for at least 24 hours after treatment.
For utmost protection, wear a pair of wraparound UVA-absorbing sunglasses, even while you are indoors near a window.
Do not expose your skin to sunlight or tanning beds for at least 48 hours. Wear protective clothing including a hat and gloves. Use a sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 15, and apply it to all uncovered skin areas exposed to light.
You may develop cataracts if you do not properly protect your eyes after you are treated with methoxsalen and UVA treatment.
Follow your doctor's instructions about applying topical psoriasis medications or any moisturizing lotions after your methoxsalen and UVA treatment.
While taking methoxsalen, check your skin regularly for signs of skin cancer, such as a small growth or nodule, a scaly or crusted lesion, a brownish spot or speckles, or a change in the size, color, or feel of a mole. After receiving UVA treatments, you may need to check your skin for signs of cancer throughout the rest of your life.
Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Call your doctor for instructions if you miss your methoxsalen dose or forget to take the medicine within 90 minutes to 2 hours before your scheduled UVA treatment.
The timing of when you take methoxsalen is very important in relation to UVA treatment. Therefore, you may need to reschedule your light therapy appointment if you have not taken methoxsalen at the proper time beforehand.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222. You will be extremely sensitive to light after an overdose.
What should I avoid while taking Oxsoralen-Ultra (methoxsalen)?
Avoid exposure to sunlight or artificial UV rays other than your scheduled light therapy treatments.
Oxsoralen-Ultra (methoxsalen) side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Methoxsalen is expected to produce skin redness that may not occur until several hours after your UVA treatment. This redness may last for 2 or 3 days. You may also have slight swelling. These are normal effects of the medication and UVA treatment.
Call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:
severe skin redness within 24 hours after UVA treatment;
severe itching, swelling, or severe skin discomfort;
blisters, pimples, or skin rash;
blurred vision, eye pain, or seeing "halos" around lights;
feeling like you might pass out; or
worsening of your psoriasis.
Less serious side effects may include:
mild skin redness, itching, or tenderness;
sleep problems (insomnia);
headache, dizziness; or
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
What other drugs will affect Oxsoralen-Ultra (methoxsalen)?
Tell your doctor about all medications you use now or have used in the past (including those applied to the skin), especially:
arsenic trioxide (Trisenox);
anthralin (Drithrocreme, Micanol);
a bacteriostatic soap;
coal tar (Betatar Gel, Denorex, Fototar, Ionil T, MG217, Neutrogena T/Gel or T/Derm, Tegrin Medicated Soap, and others);
griseofulvin (Fulvicin, Grifulvin);
nalidixic acid (NegGram);
a staining dye such as methylene blue, toluene blue, rose bengal, or methyl orange;
a sulfa drug (Bactrim, Septra, Sulfatrim, SMX-TMP, and others);
a diuretic (water pill) such as chlorothiazide (Diuril), hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ, HydroDiuril, Hyzaar, Lopressor, Vasoretic, Zestoretic), chlorthalidone (Hygroton, Thalitone), indapamide (Lozol), metolazone (Mykrox, Zaroxolyn), and others;
an antibiotic such as ciprofloxacin (Cipro), gemifloxacin (Factive), levofloxacin (Levaquin), moxifloxacin (Avelox), ofloxacin (Floxin), norfloxacin (Noroxin), and others;
a tetracycline antibiotic such as doxycycline (Doryx, Oracea, Periostat, Vibramycin), minocycline (Dynacin, Minocin, Solodyn), or tetracycline (Ala-Tet, Brodspec, Panmycin, Sumycin, Tetracap); or
phenothiazines such as chlorpromazine (Thorazine), fluphenazine (Permitil, Prolixin), perphenazine (Trilafon), prochlorperazine (Compazine, Compro), promethazine (Pentazine, Phenergan, Anergan, Antinaus), thioridazine (Mellaril), or trifluoperazine (Stelazine).
This list is not complete and other drugs may interact with methoxsalen. Tell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.
More about Oxsoralen-Ultra (methoxsalen)
Related treatment guides
Where can I get more information?
- Your doctor or pharmacist can provide more information about methoxsalen.
- Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
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