Calcipotriene topical Side Effects

Not all side effects for calcipotriene topical may be reported. You should always consult a doctor or healthcare professional for medical advice. Side effects can be reported to the FDA here.

For the Consumer

Applies to calcipotriene topical: topical cream, topical foam, topical ointment, topical solution

Along with its needed effects, calcipotriene topical 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 immediately if any of the following side effects occur while taking calcipotriene topical:

More common
  • Skin redness, swelling, or itching
  • skin rash
  • worsening of psoriasis

Some side effects of calcipotriene topical may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More common
  • Burning, dryness, irritation, peeling, or redness of the skin
Less common
  • Pain at the application site
Less common or rare
  • Darker color in the treated areas of the skin
  • pus in the hair follicles

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to calcipotriene topical: topical cream, topical foam, topical ointment, topical solution

Dermatologic

Very common (10% or more): Cream: Skin irritation (up to 15%); Ointment: Burning, itching, skin irritation (up to 15%); Solution: Transient burning, stinging, tingling (about 23%), rash (about 11%)
Common (1% to 10%): Cream: Rash, pruritus, dermatitis, worsening of psoriasis (up to 10%); Ointment: Erythema, dry skin, peeling, rash, dermatitis, worsening of psoriasis including development of facial/scalp psoriasis (up to 10%); Solution: Dry skin, irritation, worsening of psoriasis (up to 5%)
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Ointment: Skin atrophy, hyperpigmentation, folliculitis (less than 1%)
Rare (less than 0.1%): Facial dermatitis or eczema, allergic contact dermatitis
Frequency not reported: Calcipotriene phototoxicity

Clinical trials have shown a higher incidence of severe skin-related adverse reactions in patients older than 65 years of age.

Facial dermatitis or eczema has rarely been reported, occasionally in patients without facial psoriasis.

Metabolic

Hypercalcemia was reversible upon drug discontinuation.

Symptomatic hypercalcemia has been reported in a few individuals, particularly those with extensive, unstable disease using more than 100 grams of ointment per week. One patient with symptomatic hypercalcemia had moderate renal impairment. This patient used 200 grams of ointment over the course of a week. At least two patients have experienced hypercalcemia while using less than 100 grams per week. A lower dose of 10 grams per week was tried in one of these patients, however hypercalcemia returned.

There have been several studies of the effect of calcipotriene on serum calcium and urinary calcium. One study observed 34 patients with psoriasis treated with 8.2 to 95.4 grams per week. No difference in calcium or bone metabolism was noted when compared to patients treated with placebo. Another study where 12 of 24 patients received 30 grams per day for 14 days reported no significant alterations in blood or urine calcium concentrations. However, in a higher dose study, 10 patients treated with 100 grams calcipotriene per week experienced an increase in urinary calcium from 4.75 mmol/24 hours to 5.89 mmol/24 hours over four weeks of treatment.

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Ointment: Hypercalcemia (less than 1%)
Rare (less than 0.1%): Transient increases in serum calcium, symptomatic hypercalcemia

Local

Common (1% to 10%): Foam: Application site pain (3%), application site erythema (2%)

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