|Type of medicine||Vitamin D analogue|
|Used for||Plaque psoriasis in adults and children aged over 12 years|
|Available as||Ointment and lotion|
Tacalcitol is used to treat plaque psoriasis. It is similar to vitamin D, which is essential for healthy skin.
When you have psoriasis, patches of red, scaly skin called plaques develop which tend to come and go throughout life. Treatment for psoriasis aims to clear the plaques as much as possible.
The skin cells in the outer layer of your skin multiply faster than normal in the patches of psoriasis. This causes older and dead skin cells to build up on the surface of your skin causing the red, scaly patches. Tacalcitol works by slowing the over-production of your skin cells which eases the inflamed, scaly areas.
Before using tacalcitol
To make sure this is the right treatment for you, before you start using tacalcitol it is important that your doctor or pharmacist knows:
- If you are pregnant, trying for a baby or breast-feeding.
- If you have been told you have high calcium levels in your blood, or if your body has problems processing calcium.
- If you have severe liver or kidney problems.
- If you have been told you have a form of psoriasis known as erythrodermic and pustular psoriasis. (This is because tacalcitol should only be used in these more severe forms of psoriasis, under close supervision of a skin specialist.)
- If you are taking or using any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, such as herbal and complementary medicines.
- If you have ever had an allergic reaction to a medicine.
How to use tacalcitol
- Before you start this treatment, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet from inside your pack. The leaflet will give you more information about applying tacalcitol, and a full list of possible side-effects from using it.
- Apply a thin layer of ointment or lotion once each day. It is recommended that you apply it in the evening before you go to bed. If required, it can be used on all areas of your body, including your face, hairline, scalp, armpits, elbows and knees. If you are using the ointment on your scalp, it can be shampooed out the next morning. If you are using the lotion on your scalp, apply a few drops close to the affected area and rub it in gently.
- You should not use more than 10 g of tacalcitol ointment per day or more than 10 ml of the lotion a day. This is because tacalcitol is absorbed through your skin and can cause problems if more than these amounts are used. If you are using both ointment and lotion, the maximum amount of each is less than these amounts. If this applies to you, your doctor will give you instructions for the maximum amount of each to use.
- Wash your hands well afterwards. This will help prevent tacalcitol getting on to any areas of your skin which are unaffected by psoriasis.
Getting the most from your treatment
- Try to keep your regular appointments with your doctor. This is so your doctor can check on your progress.
- You should start to see an improvement in your skin within two weeks of using tacalcitol, and this improvement should continue for up to eight weeks. Continue to apply it regularly for as long as you have been recommended in order to get the full benefit.
- If you have been advised to use tacalcitol on your face, apply it carefully so that you do not get any into your eyes. Also, remember to apply a thin layer only, as there is a greater chance it could cause irritation on your face.
- If you are also using a moisturiser for your skin, use this first and then wait for about 30 minutes before you apply tacalcitol.
Can tacalcitol cause problems?
Along with their useful effects, most medicines can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them. These usually improve as your body adjusts to the new medicine, but speak with your doctor or pharmacist if any of the following side-effects continue or become troublesome.
|Possible tacalcitol side-effects||What can I do if I experience this?|
|Skin redness, itching, irritation, and tingling||This is usually mild, but if it continues or becomes severe, speak with your doctor|
If you experience any other symptoms which you think may be due to this preparation, speak with your doctor or pharmacist.
How to store tacalcitol
- Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
- Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.
Important information about all medicines
If you buy any medicines, check with a pharmacist that they are safe to take with your other medicines.
Further reading & references
- British National Formulary; 63rd Edition (Mar 2012) British Medical Association and Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, London
- Manufacturer’s PIL, Curatoderm® Ointment, Almirall Limited, The electronic Medicines Compendium. Dated August 2010.
- Manufacturer’s PIL, Curatoderm® Lotion, Almirall Limited, The electronic Medicines Compendium. Dated August 2010.
|Original Author: Helen Allen||Current Version: Helen Allen||Peer Reviewer: Dr Hannah Gronow|
|Last Checked: 26/09/2012||Document ID: 3726 Version: 23||© EMIS|
Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. EMIS has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but make no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. For details see our conditions.