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Generic name: calcipotriene topicalKAL-si-poe-TRYE-een ]
Brand names: Calcitrene, Dovonex, Sorilux
Drug class: Topical antipsoriatics

Medically reviewed by on Nov 14, 2022. Written by Cerner Multum.

What is Calcitrene?

Calcipotriene is a man-made form of vitamin D. It is involved in the growth and development of skin cells.

Calcitrene (for the skin) is used to treat plaque psoriasis (psoriasis with scaly patches).

Calcitrene may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.


You should not use Calcitrene if you have high levels of calcium or vitamin D in your body. Do not apply Calcitrene to your face.

Before taking this medicine

You should not use Calcitrene if you are allergic to it, or if you have:

  • high levels of calcium in your blood (hypercalcemia); or

  • high levels of vitamin D in your body (usually caused by taking too much vitamin D supplements).

To make sure Calcitrene is safe for you, tell your doctor if you are receiving phototherapy (light treatments) for your psoriasis.

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Do not use this medicine on a child without medical advice.

How should I use Calcitrene?

Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Use the medicine exactly as directed.

Do not take by mouth. Calcitrene is for use only on the skin. Do not use Calcitrene on open wounds or on sunburned, windburned, dry, chapped, or irritated skin.

Do not apply this medicine to your face.

Do not use Calcitrene to treat any condition that has not been checked by your doctor.

Do not share this medicine with another person, even if they have the same symptoms you have.

Wash your hands before and after applying this medicine, unless you are using it to treat a hand condition.

Clean and dry the area of skin where you will apply Calcitrene. Apply the medicine only to the affected area, not to the surrounding skin.

Shake the foam (Sorilux) well just before you measure a dose.

It may take up to 2 weeks before your symptoms improve. Keep using the medication as directed and tell your doctor if your symptoms do not improve after 8 weeks of treatment.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Do not keep in a refrigerator or freezer.

Calcitrene foam and solution are flammable. Avoid using near open flame, and do not smoke until the medicine has completely dried on your skin. Keep the medicine canister away from open flame or high heat, such as in a car on a hot day. The canister may explode if it gets too hot. Do not puncture or burn an empty canister.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Apply the medicine as soon as you can, but skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Do not apply two doses at one time.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

What should I avoid while using Calcitrene?

Avoid using other skin medications on the areas you treat with Calcitrene, unless your doctor tells you to.

Do not get Calcitrene in your eyes. If contact does occur, rinse with water.

Do not use vitamin or mineral supplements while you are using Calcitrene, unless your doctor has told you to.

Calcipotriene could make you sunburn more easily. Avoid sunlight or tanning beds. Wear protective clothing and use sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher) when you are outdoors.

Calcitrene side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Calcitrene may cause serious side effects. Stop using Calcitrene and call your doctor at once if you have:

  • severe burning, stinging, skin rash, or other irritation after applying the medicine;

  • worsening of your skin condition; or

  • high calcium levels--confusion, tiredness, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, constipation, increased thirst or urination, weight loss.

Common side effects of Calcitrene may include:

  • mild skin irritation;

  • skin rash; or

  • itching.

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.

What other drugs will affect Calcitrene?

Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any you start or stop using, especially:

  • mineral supplements that contain calcium; or

  • vitamin D or multivitamins.

This list is not complete. Other drugs may interact with calcipotriene topical, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide.

Where can I get more information?

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.

Frequently asked questions

Further information

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