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Methoxsalen

INFORMATION

Uses

Methoxsalen is used in the treatment of acne (pimples) and vitiligo (loss of skin colour in patches).

How it works

Methoxsalen belongs to the group of medicines called psoralens (light-sensitive drug that absorbs ultraviolet light and acts like ultraviolet radiation). Methoxsalen works by modifying the way by which skin cells receive the ultraviolet light A (UVA) radiation, thereby clearing up the disease.

Common side effects

Nervousness, New growth on the skin, Allergic reaction, Altered appearance of mole, Blisters on skin, Burns on the treated area from overexposure to uva or sunlight, Depression, Dizziness, Insomnia, Itching, Skin redness, Nausea, Swelling, Blister

AVAILABLE MEDICINE

Expert advice

  • Take this treatment (methoxsalen and UVA) two or three times a week with the treatment spaced at least forty-eight hours apart.  
  • Take this medication by mouth with food or milk, usually 2 to 4 hours before your UVA light treatment.
  • Do not sunbathe for 24 hours before taking methoxsalen. Wear UVA-absorbing, wrap-around sunglasses and cover exposed skin or use a sunblock (SP 15 or higher) for the twenty-four (24) hour period following treatment with methoxsalen.
  • Use extra caution for at least 48 hours following each treatment.  After each treatment, cover your skin for at least 8 hours by wearing protective clothing.
  • Do not increase the amount of methoxsalen if you are taking or spend extra time in the sunlight or under an ultraviolet lamp.
  • Do not drive or operate machinery as methoxsalen may cause dizziness.
  • Not recommended for use in children younger than 12 years.
  • You will need to have an eye examination before starting methoxsalen and also once a year thereafter.

Frequently asked questions

Methoxsalen

Q.What is methoxsalen used for?
Methoxsalen is used along with ultraviolet light (found in sunlight and some special lamps) in a treatment to treat vitiligo (a disease in which skin color is lost), and psoriasis (a skin condition associated with red and scaly patches), and treatment of white blood cells (called photopheresis) and is used to treat the skin problems associated with mycosis fungoides, which is a type of lymphoma

Q.How does methoxsalen work?
Methoxsalen works by modifying the way by which skin cells receive the ultraviolet light A (UVA) radiation, thereby clearing up the disease.


Content on this page was last updated on 30 September, 2016, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)