Calcipotriene Calcipotriene is a medication formulated with vitamin D that treats plaque psoriasis on the skin and scalp. It slows down the growth of excessive skin cells, helping to shrink psoriatic patches and relieve symptoms like itching, scaling, and redness. It is available in both topical and specialized scalp solution forms. Read more about psoriasis.
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How to use this information: 
This is a summary and does NOT have all possible information about this product. This information does not assure that this product is safe, effective or appropriate for you. This information is not individual medical advice and does not substitute for the advice of a medical provider. If you have any questions, go to your patient dashboard and request a callback for complete information about this product and your specific health needs.
Medication name: 




What you should know about Calcipotriene

This medication is used to treat long-term psoriasis of the scalp. Calcipotriene is a form of vitamin D that works by slowing down the growth of skin cells.

How to use Calcipotriene
  • Use this medication on the skin only and when hair is dry. Comb your hair first to remove any scaly flakes. Apply the medication only to the affected areas of the scalp and gently rub in, usually twice daily or as directed by your medical provider. Take care not to let any of the solution spread onto the forehead or any unaffected areas.
  • Wash your hands after using. Do not apply the medication on the face, in the eyes, nose or mouth or inside the vagina. If you do get the medication in those areas, flush with plenty of water.
  • Do not apply this medication more often or use it for longer than prescribed. This may increase the risk of side effects.
  • Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, use it at the same times each day.
  • Inform your medical provider if your condition does not improve or worsens. In most cases, you should begin to see an improvement in your skin condition after 2 weeks of treatment.
Potential side effects
  • Burning, stinging, tingling, rash, dry skin or irritation at the application site may occur. If any of these effects last or get worse, tell your medical provider or pharmacist right away.
  • Remember that this medication has been prescribed because your medical provider has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not experience serious side effects.
  • Tell your medical provider right away if you experience any serious side effects, including:

    • Skin thinning or discoloration
    • Stretch marks
    • Small red bumps on the skin (folliculitis)
    • Unusual tiredness
    • Mental or mood changes
    • Unexplained constipation
  • A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including:

    • Rash
    • Itching or swelling, especially of the face/tongue/throat
    • Severe dizziness
    • Trouble breathing
  • This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, request a callback for medical advice. You may also report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at

Precautions to be aware of
  • Before using this medication, tell your medical provider or pharmacist if you are allergic to it or have any other allergies. 
  • This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Some preparations contain propylene glycol, large amounts of which can cause acid buildup, seizures or decreased respiratory rate. Go to your patient dashboard and request a callback for more details.
  • Before using this medication, tell your medical provider your medical history—especially of high calcium or vitamin D levels (hypercalcemia/hypervitaminosis D).
  • This medication may make you more sensitive to the sun. Limit your time in the sun. Avoid tanning booths and sunlamps. Use sunscreen and wear protective clothing when outdoors. Tell your medical provider right away if you get sunburned or have skin blisters or redness. They may direct you to limit or avoid phototherapy while you use this product. Ask your medical provider for details.
  • During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when there is a clear need. Discuss the risks and benefits with your medical provider.
  • It is not known whether this drug passes into breast milk. Consult your medical provider before breast-feeding.
Drug interactions
  • Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions.
  • Keep a list of all the products you use—including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products—and share it with your medical provider and pharmacist.
  • Do not start, stop or change the dosage of any medicines without your medical provider's approval.
  • Products that may interact with this drug include certain diuretics used to treat high blood pressure and some cardiac medication, especially since it can increase calcium levels; multivitamins and other products containing vitamin D, which can increase the toxic effect of too much vitamin D; aspirin, which may decrease the effectiveness of the medication.
What to do in the event of an overdose

This medicine may be harmful if swallowed. If someone has overdosed and is experiencing serious symptoms—such as passing out or trouble breathing—call 911. If symptoms from taking this medication are less severe, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222 right away.

Additional notes
  • Do not share this medication with others.
  • Lab and/or medical tests (such as calcium levels) may be performed while you are using this medication. Keep all medical and lab appointments. Consult your medical provider for more details.
  • This medication has been prescribed for your current condition only. Do not use it later for another skin condition unless told to do so by your medical provider. A different medication may be necessary in that case.
What to do if you miss a dose

If you miss a dose, use it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose. Use your next dose at the regular time. Do not double the dose to catch up.

How to store this medication
  • Store at room temperature away from sunlight or open flames. Do not freeze. 
  • The foam is flammable. Keep away from fire, flame or smoke
  • Keep all medications away from children and pets.
  • Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company for more information.
Treatment for
Generic Name
Drug Class
Vitamin D analog

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