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|Type of medicine||Combination of Vitamin D derivative and Corticosteroid|
|Works by||Reduction of skin proliferation and inflammation|
|Active ingredient||Calcipotriol and Betamethasone|
|Effective within||4 Weeks|
|Strength||50mcg Calcipotriol and 500mcg Betamethasone per 1g|
|Common side effects||Skin exfoliation, Pruritus|
|Manufacturer||LEO Pharma A/S|
|Use with alcohol||No known effect|
We stock 2 different variants of Dovobet Gel & Ointment
What is Dovobet and what is it used for?
Dovobet is among the most widely-used treatments for plaque psoriasis (also known as psoriasis vulgaris). Applied topically to the affected areas of skin at least once a day, Dovobet provides relief from itching and irritation, reduces inflammation, and soothes the dry, flaky skin associated with psoriasis.
Because it contains a corticosteroid, Dovobet can cause side effects if misused, which is why it requires a prescription. Dovobet Ointment is used to treat psoriasis across most parts of the body, while Dovobet Gel is used specifically for scalp psoriasis.
What is psoriasis?
Psoriasis is a skin condition that typically causes patches of skin to become red, flaky, and crusty. The areas affected vary from person to person, but it’s most common for psoriasis vulgaris in adults to affect the skin around the elbows, knees, scalp, and/or lower back.
While the root cause of psoriasis is often unclear (as is the case for many skin conditions), the cause of the symptoms is straightforward: an accelerated rate of skin cell growth. Healthy skin will generate new skin cells every three to four weeks. Patches of skin affected by psoriasis, however, will generate new skin cells every three or seven days. This leads to excess skin along with the various symptoms mentioned previously.
There is currently no cure for psoriasis (just as there’s no cure for similar skin conditions of acne, rosacea, and eczema), but there are various treatments that can improve symptoms and the appearance of skin patches, and Dovobet is one such treatment.
How does Dovobet work?
Dovobet Gel and Dovobet Ointment contain the same active ingredient of calcipotriol, which is a synthetic form of Vitamin D (and the key ingredient in Dovonex). When applied to the skin, it reduces the rate at which skin cells are produced, reducing the symptoms of psoriasis.
Dovobet also contains a corticosteroid called betamethasone dipropionate which can ease the irritation caused by psoriasis by reducing inflammation and the itching sensation. Betamethasone dipropionate is a more potent form of betamethasone valerate, the active ingredient of many other skin treatments such as Betamethasone with Neomycin Cream and Betamethasone with Clioquinol Cream.
Used in tandem, calcipotriol and betamethasone dipropionate can be highly effective, and the average user of Dovobet will notice a visible improvement to their skin within 2 weeks.
Alternatives to Dovobet
Dovobet is a strong psoriasis medication that can only be prescribed by a healthcare professional. If you haven’t already, you may want to consider an over-the-counter psoriasis treatment before exploring a prescription-only option such as Dovobet. Over-the-counter psoriasis treatments include:
- Dermalex Psoriasis Cream, is a steroid-free formula for the treatment of mild to moderate plaque psoriasis.
- Exorex Lotion, is a coal tar-based treatment for mild to moderate flare-ups of psoriasis.
- E45 Psoriasis Cream, which helps to hydrate and regenerate the skin to reduce scaling and itching caused by psoriasis.
If one or more over-the-counter treatments have proven ineffective at treating your psoriasis (or your case is especially severe), there are several prescription alternatives available, including Dovobet. Other prescription psoriasis treatments include:
- Dovonex Ointment, is a topical treatment for psoriasis that contains the active ingredient calcipotriol.
- Enstilar Foam, is a topical treatment containing the active ingredients of calcipotriol and betamethasone.
- Betnovate Cream or Ointment, a corticosteroid treatment used to treat symptoms of psoriasis, eczema and other skin irritations.
You can buy a range of effective psoriasis treatments online via The Independent Pharmacy, as well as treatments for other skin conditions and bacterial skin infections.
- Calcipotriol at Patient: https://patient.info/medicine/calcipotriol-for-psoriasis-dovonex
- Psoriasis at the NHS: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/psoriasis/
- Calcipotriol with Betamethasone at NICE: https://bnf.nice.org.uk/drug/calcipotriol-with-betamethasone.html
- Dovobet Gel Patient Information Leaflet: https://www.medicines.org.uk/emc/product/5690/pil
- Dovobet Ointment Patient Information Leaflet: https://www.medicines.org.uk/emc/product/1609/pil
Who can use Dovobet?
Provided you’re over 18 years old and have plaque psoriasis that needs treating, you should be able to get a Dovobet prescription. Your suggested course of treatment will likely last for 4-8 weeks and involve applying Dovobet once per day to the skin directly affected by your psoriasis.
How to use Dovobet
Before you start applying the treatment to your skin, be sure to fully read the Patient Information Leaflet to check that you understand all the relevant guidance.
How to treat body skin with Dovobet Ointment
- After shaking the bottle well, remove the cap and confirm that the seal is broken. (If you’re using the treatment for the first time, you’ll obviously need to break the seal.)
- Squeeze a small amount of ointment onto your finger (which must be clean).
- Apply the ointment to the affected area, and use your fingers (which must all be clean) to gently rub it in until the ointment has been fully absorbed or there’s only a thin layer left. Don’t bandage or wrap the treated skin: it must be left to breathe.
- Wash your hands well after using Dovobet, but allow some time for it to soak in before you take a shower or get in a bath.
How to treat scalp skin with Dovobet Gel
Before starting treatment, please be aware that you must use Dovobet Gel specifically if you’re treating skin on your scalp, as Dovobet Ointment wasn’t designed for use in that area. The steps for treating your scalp psoriasis are similar to those listed above, with the following additions:
- Before applying the treatment, comb your hair to remove any loose scales, and tilt your head to prevent the gel from running onto your face.
- After applying the treatment, refrain from washing your hair for a few hours at least. It’s often best to apply the treatment before bed so it can work overnight.
- When you wash your hair for the first time after using Dovobet Gel, leave the shampoo in your hair for a few minutes before you rinse it away.
Dovobet Gel and Ointment contain the same active ingredients of calcipotriol 50 micrograms and betamethasone 0.5 mg.
Dovobet Gel and Ointment also contain the same inactive ingredients of liquid paraffin, polyoxypropylene stearyl ether, hydrogenated castor oil, butylhydroxytoluene (E321), and all-rac-α-tocopherol.
There is one notable difference, though: Dovobet Ointment also contains the inactive ingredient of white soft paraffin (also known as white petroleum jelly).
Dovobet side effects
Some people may experience side effects when using Dovobet Gel or Dovobet Ointment, but they’re usually mild and will clear up once treatment is over. If you suffer a serious side effect, have mild side effects that don’t go away when you stop the treatment or don’t notice any improvements after using Dovobet, you should seek advice from a pharmacist or doctor.
Here are the most common side effects:
- Skin inflammation or irritation
- Dry skin
Uncommon side effects can include skin infections, allergic reactions, or even cataracts. While you’re highly unlikely to experience any of them, you do need to be aware that they can happen and be ready to seek immediate medical attention if they do.
Before using Dovobet, you should take the time to read and understand everything in the Patient Information Leaflet. Additionally, you should take note of the following warnings:
- Dovobet contains betamethasone, which is a steroid, and should not be applied to skin that is infected by bacteria, viruses, parasites or fungus.
- Dovobet should not be applied to any broken skin, ulcers, or areas affected by skin conditions such as acne or rosacea.
- If you have erythrodermic, exfoliative, pustular or guttate psoriasis, you should speak to a doctor before using Dovobet.
- After applying Dovobet, you should avoid exposing the treated skin to large amounts of sunlight or artificial UV light.
- Do not smoke or get close to naked flames when using Dovobet, as it may be flammable. And since it can soak into the clothing you wear and/or the bedding you use, you should wash those things more frequently to be safe.
- If you are taking or using any other medicine (prescribed or non-prescribed), speak to a doctor or pharmacist before using Dovobet.
Dovobet & pregnancy
If you’re breastfeeding, know or suspect that you’re pregnant, or are planning to conceive soon, ask your doctor for guidance before using Dovobet. Note: if you get approval to use it while you’re breastfeeding, you mustn’t apply it to your breasts, as it can affect your breast milk.