Boots WebMD Partners in Health
Return To Boots

Medicines & treatments centre

Terms Of Use


Brand Name(s) : Dovonex
Side Effects


Calcipotriol should be used with caution:

It should not be used:

Also see list of precautions and interactions.


Store calcipotriol at room temperature not above 25°C away from heat and bright sunlight. The scalp solution should be kept away fro fire or flames as it may set on fire.


What is it used for?

  • Calcipotriol is used to treat a skin condition called plaque psoriasis (psoriasis vulgaris).
  • It is a type of vitamin D analogue, sometimes known as a derivative of vitamin D.
  • It is used to slow down the growth of skin cells, which overgrow in the skin condition psoriasis and cause the skin to become scaly, thick and red.
  • In general this drug is used to treat psoriasis by applying it to the skin and scalp.

Benefits of being on this drug can include:

Listed below are the typical uses of calcipotriol:

  • Treating plaque psoriasis (psoriasis vulgaris).

On occasion your doctor may prescribe this medicine to treat a condition not on the above list.


How often do I take it?

  • You should use calcipotriol ointment, cream or scalp solution exactly as your doctor has told you.
  • Use this medication for the duration of the prescription in order to get the most benefit from it.
  • Remember to use it at the same time each day - unless specifically told otherwise by your doctor.
  • It may take up to 2 weeks before the full benefit of this drug takes effect.
  • Certain medical conditions may require different dosage instructions as directed by your doctor.

What dose?

  • Dosage is based on your age, gender, medical condition, response to therapy, and use of certain interacting medicines.

Do I need to avoid anything?

  • Do not apply calcipotriol to your face, and wash your hands after you apply it. It is recommended that you limit or avoid too much sunlight or the use of sunbeds. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details.

When can I stop?

  • Always complete the full course as prescribed by your doctor.


  • Skin irritation
  • Rash
  • Burning and stinging sensations
  • Dry skin
  • Itchy skin
  • Redness of the skin
  • Inflammation of the skin (dermatitis)
  • Worsening of psoriasis
  • Eczema
  • Abnormal reaction of the skin to light, usually a rash (photosensitivity)
  • Changes to the colour (pigmentation) of the skin.

If any of these persist or you consider them severe then stop taking calcipotriol and inform your doctor or pharmacist as soon as possible.

Tell your doctor immediately if you develop any of the following symptoms:

  • If your psoriasis gets worse.

Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

A serious allergic reaction to this drug is unlikely, but seek immediate medical attention if it occurs. Symptoms of a serious allergic reaction include: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), dizziness, trouble breathing.

This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

The Yellow Card Scheme allows you to report suspected side effects from any type of medicine (which includes vaccines, herbals and over the counter medicines) that you are taking. It is run by the medicines safety watchdog called the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory agency (MHRA). Please report any suspected side effect on the Yellow Card Scheme website.


Before taking calcipotriol, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to other vitamin D creams/ointments or its derivatives; or if you have any other allergies.

This medication should not be used if you have certain medical conditions. Before using this medicine, consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have:

  • An allergy (hypersensitivity) to any of the ingredients
  • Problems with the level of calcium in your body (disorders of calcium metabolism).

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially any of the following:

Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist that you are taking this medication.

Does alcohol intake affect this drug?

  • Alcohol does not appear to affect this drug.

Other types of psoriasis. Calcipotriol should be used with caution in people with other types of psoriasis, such as generalised pustular or erythrodermic exfoliative psoriasis, as it may affect increase their calcium levels (hypercalcaemia).

Pregnancy and breastfeeding - please ensure you read the detailed information below.


The safety of calcipotriol has not been established during pregnancy. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any doubts or questions about this.

It is sensible to limit use of medication during pregnancy whenever possible. However, your doctor may decide that the benefits outweigh the risks in individual circumstances and after a careful assessment of your specific health situation.

If you have any doubts or concerns you are advised to discuss the medicine with your doctor or pharmacist.


It is not known whether calcipotriol passes into breast milk. The manufacturer therefore states that it should not be taken if you are breastfeeding.

It is sensible to limit use of medication during breastfeeding whenever possible. However, your doctor may decide that the benefits outweigh the risks in individual circumstances and after a careful assessment of your specific health situation.

If you have any doubts or concerns you are advised to discuss the medicine with your doctor or pharmacist.


Before using this medicine, tell your prescriber of all the medicines you are taking including prescription medicines and medicines you have bought over the counter without a prescription. Tell your prescriber if you are taking vitamins or complementary remedies such as herbal products, as these can also interact with medicines.

There are no known significant interactions between calcipotriol and other medicines. If you experience any unusual symptoms while using this medicine with other medicines, tell your prescriber.

If you have a question or want to discuss anything about your medicine, speak to your local pharmacist.


Excessive use of calcipotriol may cause high levels of calcium in the blood (hypercalcaemia). These return to normal levels when you stop using calcipotriol.

If you think you, or someone you care for, might have accidentally taken more than the recommended dose of calcipotriol or intentional overdose is suspected, contact your local hospital, GP or if in England call 111. In Scotland call NHS 24. In Wales, call NHS Direct Wales. In the case of medical emergencies, always dial 999.


If you forget to use calcipotriol, use it as soon as you remember and then next use it at the usual time.

Find a medication

Search by medication name for information on over-the-counter or prescription medications including side effects and interactions.
indicates detailed medicines information

Source: Selected from data included with permission and copyrighted by Boots UK Limited. This copyrighted material is sourced from a licensed data provider and is not for distribution, except as may be authorised by the applicable terms of use.
CONDITIONS OF USE: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgement of healthcare professionals. The information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse events, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of a particular medicine is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any medicine, changing any diet, or discontinuing any course of treatment.

Search for a medicine or treatment

Search by medicine name or treatment for information including side effects and interactions.

Ex. Simvastatin, Ibuprofen, Amitriptyline Hydrochlorine

Popular slideshows & tools on BootsWebMD

woman blowing nose
How to tell the difference
smiling baby
Causes and remedies
bowl of soup
Small changes that lead to weight loss
boy looking at broccoli
Simple tips for feeding fussy eaters
cold sore
How to cope with cold sores
boy coughing
Treatments for cold and fever
bain illustration
Best foods for your brain
bucket with cleaning supplies in it
Cleaning for a healthy home
avacado on whole wheat crackers
Plenty to choose from
woman looking at hair
What your hair says about your health