Dovonex

Dovonex

Dovonex is a form of topical cream or ointment used for the treatment of various skin conditions. Dovonex contains the active ingredient calcipotriene monohydrate, which is a synthetic derivative of vitamin D. More information

A doctor will review your order and write you a prescription, if appropriate. This prescription is then forwarded to a pharmacy. The pharmacy will have your medicine delivered to you within one to three working days. Read more about this process here.

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Patient Leaflet(s)

Dovonex is an ointment used for the treatment of psoriasis and other skin conditions. This medication contains a medicine called calcipotriol, which is a kind of medication taken from a derivative of vitamin D. When you apply Dovonex to your skin, it should help to reduce the overproduction of skin cells, as well as clearing and flattening psoriasis plaques.  

What is Dovonex? 

Dovonex is a form of topical cream or ointment used for the treatment of various skin conditions. Dovonex contains the active ingredient calcipotriene monohydrate, which is a synthetic derivative of vitamin D. This medication was initially approved by the FDA in the US for use in 1991. Dovonex is a well-tolerated medication with very few common side effects. Sometimes, it is combined with other medications to provide a consistent treatment for various conditions.  

In cases of psoriasis, the thickening and scaling of skin, as well as the appearance of raised plaque on the skin happens because of excessive cell production. The medication in Dovonex reduces excessive skin cell production and promotes the normal growth of skin. This helps to improve the appearance of skin over time and can also eliminate uncomfortable side effects like itching and discomfort.  

When is Dovonex used? 

Dovonex has been officially approved for the treatment of chronic conditions of plaque psoriasis in adults. At this time, it isn’t certain whether this medication is safe for use in children. You may need to speak to a professional specialist in skin conditions to obtain a prescription for a child to use this medication.  

Although Dovonex is a very effective treatment for people who suffer from plaque psoriasis, it is not widely known how or why this medication works. However, what we do know is that as a vitamin D derivative, the active ingredient can bind with vitamin D receptors in the skin when it is applied topically in ointment or cream form.  

Vitamin D receptors in the skin belong to a wider family of steroid receptors throughout the human body that help to regulate and support immune function. Experts believe that because Dovonex binds to these receptors, it can help to temper some of the inflammatory response caused by autoimmune system antibodies, therefore reducing the buildup of skin cells throughout the outer layers of the skin.  

A number of health experts and doctors will prescribe Dovonex in combination with other medications to treat various severe symptoms of plaque psoriasis. If you are concerned that you may need an additional form of treatment alongside Dovonex, then you can speak to your consultant about your options.  

How do you use Dovonex? 

Dovonex is a well-tolerated topical medication that is very easy to use. In both its ointment and cream form, Dovonex can be applied directly to the area of skin most in need of treatment. Dovonex is used commonly for the treatment of both mild and moderate plaque psoriasis for adults over the age of 16. In some locations, you may need to be over the age of 18 before a consultant will prescribe you this medication.  

Most health experts recommend a combination of Dovonex as well as other medications including betamethasone dipropionate for a consistent treatment option for people suffering from psoriasis. That’s because this medication combination will not cause the common side effects associated with using topical corticosteroids on the skin. Other experts will suggest a more conservative approach to treating skin conditions, particularly if the symptoms experienced are particularly mild.  

Dovonex should never be applied to more than 20% of the body at the same time. Although this is unlikely to lead to toxicity problems, it could cause hypercalcemia, which weakens the bones and may heighten your risk of kidney stones.  

Start by washing your hands and the area to be treated before you apply the Dovonex ointment or cream. Apply a small amount of the substance to your fingers and massage it into the area gently. Make sure that you wash your hands after you have applied the cream. Do not get this medicine too close to your mouth, nose, or eyes. If you accidentally get Dovonex into any of these places, wash thoroughly with water.  

It is recommended that you avoid exposing yourself to too much natural sunlight after using Dovonex, as it can increase your photosensitivity. This means that you may have a higher chance of suffering from problems like sunburn after using Dovonex.  

What dosages are there? 

Your consultant will give you information on how much Dovonex you should be using. In general, recommended the dose will be a thin layer applied to the affected areas of skin once or twice each day. You should not use a total of 100 grams of cream every week. Additionally, it is important to seek advice from a specialist if you are using this cream or ointment with a child.  

Children may not be suitable to use Dovonex.  

Remember, using excessive amounts of Dovonex will not cause your psoriasis or other conditions to clear up any faster. However, using excessive amounts of this cream could mean that you’re more likely to experience problems and side effects with the medication. If you do not notice any signs of improvement in your condition after using Dovonex for 10 days or more, consider speaking to a doctor about whether you need an alternative form of treatment.  

What are the side effects of Dovonex? 

Dovonex is a well-tolerated medication that doesn’t cause many common side effects. This medication is often very safe, because it is applied topically to the skin. When you apply a cream or ointment to the skin, it cannot be absorbed too significantly into the blood stream, which reduces your risk of side effects. However, like all medications, it is possible that you will experience some unintended effects when using this medication.  

Often, common side effects caused by topical medication will diminish over time as your body gets used to the new substance on the skin. These side effects are nothing to worry about, but you can seek medical assistance or advice if you’re concerned that the side effects are worsening or lasting for an extended period of time. Common side effects of Dovonex include: 

  • Rash and itching; 
  • Burning or irritation; 
  • Redness or flushed skin; 
  • Dry skin; 
  • Peeling at the site of the application. 

Although severe side effects associated with Dovonex are rare, they may happen in some cases. It is important to seek medical attention as quickly as possible if you experience any less common side effects, such as folliculitis, or bumps around the hair in your skin, as well as stretch marks or thinning or discoloration of the skin. Be aware to any changes to your mood or mental state after using Dovonex, including excessive tiredness or exhaustion. Additionally, you should seek doctor advice if you have unexplained issues of constipation.  

A serious allergic reaction to Dovonex is very rare. However, you should seek medical attention immediately if you notice any symptoms of a possible reaction, including itching or swelling, as well as trouble breathing or dizziness. Any swelling around the lips, tongue or throat will need to be addressed by a medical expert immediately. 

The side effects listed above may not constitute a full list of potential responses to Dovonex medication. Speak to a professional if you notice any other side effects, and make sure to check the patient leaflet that comes with your medication before using it.  

When shouldn’t you use Dovonex? 

Although Dovonex is a very well tolerated medication, it won’t be suitable for everyone. It’s generally not recommended for children, and it should always be used in caution with people who have erythrodermic exfoliative types of psoriasis.  

Before you begin using this medication, make sure that you tell your consultant if you have ever had any issues with calcium metabolism in the body, severe issues of kidney or liver disease, or any other complications with your skin condition. You should not use this medication if you have any allergies to it, or the inactive ingredients in the cream or ointment.  

Make sure that you answer all of the questions asked by your consultant truthfully before you begin using Dovonex. It is important that your consultant is aware of any high vitamin D or calcium levels in your system. Additionally, remember that this medication can make you more sensitive to sunlight. As such, it’s a good idea to avoid overexposure to the sun and sunlamps when you are using Dovonex. Make sure that you tell your doctor if you get blistered or burned when using this substance. 

When you’re pregnant, this medication should only be used when it is clearly needed. Discuss the benefits and risks of using Dovonex when breastfeeding with your doctor.  

Does Dovonex interact with other medications? 

Dovonex medication is not currently known to affect other medications. However, it’s important to tell your consultant about any medications that you are currently taking just in case. It is crucial for your consultant to be aware of all over-the-counter medications that you might be using, as well as supplemental or herbal substances, or prescription drugs.  

Dovonex manufacturers may continue to explore its interactions with other medications in the future. Remember, if you are using other topical medicines or moisturizers on the same area of skin, give several minutes for the medication to soak in between applications.  

Where can you buy Dovonex? 

Dovonex is available to buy safely online if recommended by your doctor and  after a consultation with one of our professionals. We can have a prescription sent to you within three working days to a local pharmacy.  

Can I get Dovonex without a prescription? 

Dovonex is not available without a prescription. You will need a consultation before getting this medication.  

Sources 

Drugs.com, online, 2019, “Dovonex” [Accessed 18th of December 2019], Available on: https://www.drugs.com/dovonex.html  

RXList, online, 2019, “DOVONEX OINTMENT”, [Accessed 18th of December 2019], Available on: https://www.rxlist.com/dovonex-ointment-drug.htm  

Sodha, Sandhiya, September 4th 2017, Mims.com, online, “Topical psoriasis treatment to be available without a prescription” [Accessed 18th of December 2019], Available on: https://www.mims.co.uk/topical-psoriasis-treatment-available-without-prescription/dermatology/article/1443543 

Assessed by:

Dr Imran Malik, General practitioner
Registration number: GMC: 4741365

Dr Imran Malik studied undergraduate medicine at King's College University in Central London and clinical studies at the prestigious King's College Hospital. He graduated with a MBBS degree in 2000 and went on to gain postgraduate memberships with the Royal Society of Medicine and also General Practice in 2006.