My watch list  


Systematic (IUPAC) name
CAS number 112965-21-6
ATC code D05AX02
PubChem 443875
Chemical data
Formula C27H40O3 
Mol. mass 412.605 g/mol
Pharmacokinetic data
Bioavailability 5 to 6%
Metabolism Hepatic
Half life  ?
Excretion Biliary
Therapeutic considerations
Pregnancy cat.

B3 (Au), C (US)

Legal status

POM(UK) -only(US)

Routes Topical

Calcipotriol (INN) or calcipotriene (USAN) is a synthetic derivative of calcitriol or Vitamin D. It is used in the treatment of psoriasis, marketed under the trade name Dovonex®.



The efficacy of calcipotriol in the treatment of psoriasis was first noticed by the observation of patients receiving various forms of Vitamin D in an osteoporosis study. Unexpectedly, a patient's psoriasis lesions dramatically disappeared. [1]

The precise mechanism of calcipotriol in remitting psoriasis is not well-understood. However, it has been shown to have comparable affinity with calcitriol (Vit D) for the Vitamin D receptor, while being less than 1% as active as the calcitriol in regulating calcium metabolism. The Vitamin D receptor (VDR) belongs to the steroid/thyroid receptor superfamily, and is found on the cells of many different tissues including the thyroid, bone, kindney, and T cells of the immune system. T cells are known to play a role in psoriasis, and it is thought that the binding of calcipotriol to the VDR modulates the T cells gene transcription of cell differentiation and proliferation related genes.

Usage and Efficacy

Available as a cream, ointment or scalp solution (50mcg/mL), Calcipotriol is applied twice daily to plaque psoriasis on the body or scalp, but not the face. Improvement is usually detectable within 2 weeks. Most patients show some improvement, slightly more so than is seen with the use of corticosteroids alone. Tachyphylaxis does not occur, an improvement over glucocorticoid therapy.[2]

Side effects

Calcipotriol has been shown in clinical trials to have an excellent safety profile. [3] Reports of hypercalcemia are rare.[4]

It is also available in combination with the synthetic glucocorticoid betamethasone under the trade name Dovobet®.


  1. ^ Morimoto, S., Kumahara, Y. A patient with psoriasis cured by 1-α-hydroxyvitamin D3. Med. J. Osaka Univ., 1985, 35:51-54
  2. ^ Kragbelle, K. Treatment of psoriasis with calcipotriol and other Vitamin D analogues. J. Am. Acad. Dermatol., 1992, 27:1001-1008.
  3. ^ Brunton, Laurence. Goodman and Gilman's The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics, 11th ed. McCraw-Hill, 2006. p. 1664. p. 1704-5.
  4. ^ Hardman et al. Hypercalcemia associated with calcipotriol (DOVONEX) treatment. Br Med J., 1993, 306:896.
  • Calcipotriene information - U.S. NLM/NIH

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Calcipotriol". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
Your browser is not current. Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 does not support some functions on Chemie.DE