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Br J Dermatol. 1996 Feb;134(2):238-46.

Efficacy and safety of topical calcitriol (1,25-dihydroxyvitamin d3) for the treatment of psoriasis.

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Department of Medicine, Boston University Medical Center, MA 02118, USA.


Plaque-type psoriasis has been successfully treated with topical calcitriol, but there has been no long-term follow-up study of the safety and efficacy of this calciotropic hormone. In a single-centre study, patients with plaque or erythrodermic psoriasis were enrolled in a double-blind, right/left comparison, placebo-controlled study, and received 1.5 micrograms of calcitriol (15 micrograms/g of Vaseline) per day, or a placebo consisting of Vaseline alone. A subset of these patients (n = 22), with at least 25% involvement, applied 0.1 g of calcitriol ointment/50 cm2 on an area of from 2,500 to 5,000 cm2. Of the 84 patients enrolled in the double-blind control study, 96.5% responded to topical calcitriol therapy, compared with 15.5% whose lesions improved with Vaseline alone, after 2.4 months. After completion of the double-blind study, 22 patients applied calcitriol ointment (15 micrograms/g Vaseline) to all of their lesions (up to 10 g of calcitriol ointment; 150 micrograms calcitriol lesions showed either excellent or moderate clearing in 90.9% of all cases. The remaining 9.1% of cases showed slight improvement of their lesions. No abnormalities in calcium metabolism were noted in any of the patients using topical calcitriol. None of the patients experienced any local cutaneous side-effects, including six patients who applied calcitriol ointment to the face. Topical calcitriol is safe and effective for the treatment of psoriasis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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