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Dovonex (Calcipotriol) Ointment for Psoriasis
Dovonex Ointment is a prescription-only skin treatment used to reduce the dry, scaly patches of dead skin caused by plaque psoriasis (otherwise known as psoriasis vulgaris). It is one of the most popular and effective treatments prescribed by GPs to treat this form of psoriasis.
If you are over 18 years old and suffering from psoriasis, you can purchase your prescription online at The Independent Pharmacy. After a simple online consultation, we can deliver Dovonex directly to your door.
Dovonex Ointment Information
What is Dovonex?
Dovonex Ointment (often misspelt as Donovex) is a topical treatment for plaque psoriasis containing the active ingredient of calcipotriol, a synthetic derivative of calcitriol which is a form of vitamin D. Unlike many topical treatments, Dovonex does not contain corticosteroids. Dovonex comes in 30g and 60g tubes and is manufactured by Leo Pharma.
What is Dovonex used for?
Dovonex Ointment is intended solely for the treatment of skin affected by plaque psoriasis, and can safely be used anywhere on the body aside from the face or scalp. If you need treatment for psoriasis on your scalp, Dovobet Gel or Elocon Scalp Lotion may be more suitable.
When Dovonex is applied to affected patches of skin, it quickly reduces redness, smooths out scales, and generally soothes skin irritation. Patients treated see significant improvements within just two weeks, though it can take longer to become effective in some cases.
How does Dovonex work?
Psoriasis is a condition caused by the overproduction of skin cells. The excess skin cells form dry and scaly patches of skin which can become irritated, inflamed and itchy. Calcipotriol, the active ingredient of Dovonex, produces the effects of vitamin D, a vitamin that plays a key role in maintaining healthy skin. The result is a move back towards normal skin growth, providing relief for the sufferer by reducing the symptoms of psoriasis and alleviating skin irritation.
Dovonex is a great option for those with moderate psoriasis symptoms. For psoriasis sufferers with more serious symptoms, we sell Dovobet Gel, a topical treatment that contains both calcipotriol and a steroid called betamethasone.
If you’re suffering from flare-ups on your scalp and need relief, you can purchase the Dovobet Scalp Gel, Bettamousse Foam (a corticosteroid mousse treatment), or Enstilar Foam (another foam treatment that is similar to Dovobet but can be used on any part of the body).
If you have a relatively mild case of psoriasis, you can start your treatment with a weaker treatment such as E45 Psoriasis Cream. It largely functions as an emollient, hydrating the skin to keep skin from drying and cracking, but it also contains ectoin, a molecule that has anti-inflammatory properties. It’s also extremely safe to use.
During our consultation process, we’ll help you determine the severity of your symptoms and how potent your treatment needs to be. After that, if you’re still unsure about what treatment you should choose, you should speak to a doctor or pharmacist for further advice.
- Dovonex Patient Information Leaflet: https://www.medicines.org.uk/emc/product/981/pil
- Calcipotriol at NICE: https://bnf.nice.org.uk/drug/calcipotriol.html
- Calcipotriol at Patient: https://patient.info/medicine/calcipotriol-for-psoriasis-dovonex
- Psoriasis at the NHS: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/psoriasis/
How to apply Dovonex
The person providing your prescription will give you a schedule for applying Dovonex, tasking you with using it once or twice per day on the skin affected by psoriasis. Remember that it isn’t safe to use it on your face, your scalp, or your breasts if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding.
If your skin is incredibly dry, it can help to apply a gentle moisturiser beforehand and let it fully dry before you bring out the Dovonex. Regardless, be sure to wash your hands completely before using the Dovonex. This is to avoid further distressing the affected skin since you can otherwise risk infecting it (be particularly careful with skin folds).
You don’t generally need to worry about how much Dovonex you’re applying: the maximum dosage of 100g (which amounts to 5mg of the active ingredient calcipotriol) applies to an entire week, and the largest tube is 60g, so you’d notice if you were getting close to overdoing it. For any given application, you should simply aim to cover the affected area with a thin layer, stopping well short of applying so much that it won’t easily soak in.
Note that a missed dose of Dovonex shouldn’t be addressed through a doubled dose the next time you use it. Simply forget about it and use Dovonex as you were before, applying it once or twice each day in accordance with your prescribed schedule.
The active substance in Dovonex is calcipotriol, which it features in the concentration of 50 micrograms per gram.
It also features various inactive ingredients, including the following: disodium edetate, disodium phosphate dihydrate, all-rac-α-tocopherol, liquid paraffin, macrogol (2) stearyl ether, propylene glycol and white soft paraffin.
Dovonex side effects
In most cases, Dovonex Ointment produces no side effects, but it can occasionally lead to some mild side effects in the form of local adverse reactions which needn’t inspire any worry. If it increases itching, produces pain, or leads to your skin irritation worsening, it may be a simple result of you disturbing the sensitive skin: wait to see if it gets better in the subsequent days. If the psoriasis continues to get worse as you use Dovonex, speak to a medical professional so they can figure out what’s going on.
In very rare cases, the use of Dovonex Ointment can lead to more serious side effects. You can suffer an allergic reaction, experience a decreased appetite or elevated thirst, or develop serious pain in your muscles or stomach. If you develop such a side effect, you must seek medical attention as a matter of great urgency.
In addition to reading the Patient Information Leaflet in its entirety before first applying Dovonex Ointment, you should take note of the following warnings:
- Dovonex is not safe to use if you have liver or kidney problems.
- If you are having ultraviolet (UV) light treatment for a skin condition, or if you’re suffering from guttate, erythrodermic, exfoliative or pustular psoriasis, you should speak to a relevant medical professional before using Dovonex.
- Dovonex can increase the levels of calcium in your blood, so you must be careful to ensure that you’re not taking calcium supplements while using it (and that you’re not exceeding the maximum weekly dose). Elevated serum calcium (otherwise known as hypercalcemia) can lead to bone weakness, heart and brain issues, and kidney stones.
- Before taking Dovonex, you must tell the medical professional providing the prescription about any medications (prescription or non-prescription) you’re taking or have been taking recently. It has minimal drug interactions outside of those providing further calcium, but it’s a safety measure worth taking regardless.
- Dovonex contains soft paraffin, which is flammable, so you mustn’t smoke or get too close to flames while using it.
- When your skin is exposed to sunlight (natural or artificial sunlight with UVB radiation), it uses it to generate vitamin D. Because Dovonex applies synthetic vitamin D, you must avoid excessive exposure to sunlight for treated areas of skin: with psoriasis, affected areas are given too much vitamin D can end up getting worse.
Dovonex & pregnancy
It’s often safe to use Dovonex while pregnant or breastfeeding (though not on breast skin because it could plausibly affect breast milk), but you must speak to a medical professional beforehand to get it approved as a treatment. This is largely to confirm that your calcium level is safe and you’re not taking any medication that could react negatively to it.