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Methoxsalen (Topical)

Generic name: Methoxsalen (topical) [ meth-OKS-a-len ]
Brand name: Oxsoralen
Drug classes: Topical antipsoriatics, Topical photochemotherapeutics

Medically reviewed by Last updated on May 12, 2023.

Uses of Methoxsalen:

  • It is used to treat white patches on your skin (vitiligo).
  • It is used with light therapy.

What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take Methoxsalen?

For all patients taking methoxsalen (topical):

  • If you have an allergy to methoxsalen or any other part of methoxsalen (topical).
  • If you are allergic to methoxsalen (topical); any part of methoxsalen (topical); or any other drugs, foods, or substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had.
  • If you have any of these health problems: Melanoma or squamous cell cancer.
  • If you have ever had melanoma.
  • If you sunburn easily.


  • If your child is younger than 12 years of age. Do not give methoxsalen (topical) to a child younger than 12 years of age.

This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with methoxsalen (topical).

Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take methoxsalen (topical) with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.

What are some things I need to know or do while I take Methoxsalen?

  • Tell all of your health care providers that you take methoxsalen (topical). This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
  • Very bad burns may happen if methoxsalen (topical) is not used the right way. Follow what your doctor told you to do closely.
  • Do not go over the time you are told to use.
  • Sun or UV rays may age the skin and raise the chance of skin cancer.
  • You will need to wear special sunglasses during and for 24 hours after treatment. Protect lips with lipstick that has sunscreen.
  • You may get sunburned more easily. Avoid sun, sunlamps, and tanning beds. Use sunscreen and wear clothing and eyewear that protects you from the sun. Keep protecting yourself from sunburn for as long as you were told by your doctor.
  • It may take several months to see full effect.
  • Talk with your doctor before you use other drugs or products on your skin.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan on getting pregnant. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks of using methoxsalen (topical) while you are pregnant.
  • Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding. You will need to talk about any risks to your baby.

How is this medicine (Methoxsalen) best taken?

Use methoxsalen (topical) as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.

  • Your doctor or other healthcare provider will put on the skin.
  • Wear gloves when touching methoxsalen (topical).

What do I do if I miss a dose?

  • Call your doctor to find out what to do.

What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?

WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:

  • Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • Very bad skin irritation.
  • Sunburn.
  • Blisters or sores.

What are some other side effects of Methoxsalen?

All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:

  • Skin irritation.
  • Itching.

These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.

You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-332-1088. You may also report side effects at

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.

How do I store and/or throw out Methoxsalen?

  • If you need to store methoxsalen (topical) at home, talk with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist about how to store it.
  • Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Throw away unused or expired drugs. Do not flush down a toilet or pour down a drain unless you are told to do so. Check with your pharmacist if you have questions about the best way to throw out drugs. There may be drug take-back programs in your area.

Consumer Information Use and Disclaimer

  • If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
  • Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs.
  • Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. Check with your pharmacist. If you have any questions about methoxsalen (topical), please talk with your doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.