Dovonex (calcipotriene ointment), 0.0005% is a topical medication containing 0.005% calcipotriene, and is an analog of Vitamin D3. That means it is derived from natural vitamin D. Dovonex is not a topical steroid. It's a completely new chemical class designed specifically to treat moderate plaque psoriasis. The fact that it's a vitamin D3 analog makes Dovonex unique, both in its safety profile and in the way it treats your psoriasis.
PROVEN WORLDWIDE SAFETY
Dovonex is the first and only vitamin D3 analog available for the treatment of moderate plaque psoriasis. Although it's new to the United States, it has been used in many other countries for several years. In fact, it has been used by over 300,000 patients in over 40 countries to safely and successfully treat psoriasis. Now, it is available to you as a new and different type of psoriasis therapy.
Dovonex has a favorable safety profile. It is also highly effective in reducing the symptoms of your condition. This combination of safety and efficacy for the treatment of psoriasis means Dovonex can and should be used differently than a topical steroid. In fact, you should feel free to consult with your physician at the first sign of a flare-up to discuss re-instituting therapy.
AVOID CONTACT WITH THE FACE
Dovonex (calcipotriene ointment), 0.0005% has been shown to cause some irritation when it is inadvertently transferred to the face. To avoid contact with your face, wash your hands after applying Dovonex.
What results to expect with Dovonex: Because Dovonex is the first product of its kind for the treatment of psoriasis, it's important that you view your results differently.
In general, Dovonex has been shown to significantly decrease redness, scaling, and plaque thickness. Although most Dovonex patients usually will see improvements after the first 2 weeks of therapy, your condition should continue to improve for 6 weeks or longer. It is important to remember that all patients respond in different ways and in varying lengths of time.
Because Dovonex is not a topical steroid, it is not subject to the usage limits of some very potent topical steroids. So it is very important that you continue to use Dovonex ointment for as long as your doctor has prescribed under the guidelines he or she has provided.
ANSWERS TO YOUR QUESTIONS ABOUT VITAMIN D3 ANALOG DOVONEX (CALCIPOTRIENE OINTMENT), 0.005%
Q. "YOU SAY THAT DOVONEX IS NOT A TOPICAL STEROID. BUT HOW DOES IT WORK DIFFERENTLY TO HEAL MY PSORIASIS LESIONS?"
A. To discuss how Dovonex works differently, we must first discuss psoriasis in a little more detail. Psoriasis is a condition that is characterized by abnormal skin cell maturation and an increased rate of cell growth. The end result is the development of inflamed raised plaques. Both Dovonex and topical steroids are effective treatments for psoriasis. Unlike topical steroids, which reduce redness and slow cell growth, Dovonex works by normalizing both the maturation and the growth of psoriasis skin cells, to decrease redness, scaling, and plaque thickness.
Q. "IF DOVONEX IS SAFE, WHY CAN'T I USE IT ON MY FACE?"
A. Facial skin appears to be more sensitive than other parts of the body to the irritation Dovonex may cause. Therefore, even inadvertent transfer of Dovonex to the face has caused irritation in some patients. However, when patients were careful to wash hands after applying Dovonex (calcipotriene ointment), 0.005%, facial irritation was greatly reduced.
Q. "HOW LONG CAN I USE DOVONEX?"A. Unlike some very potent topical steroids, Dovonex is not limited to a 2-week course of therapy. Dovonex has been shown to be safe and effective in 8-week clinical studies. So it is important that you follow your doctor's instructions regarding the use of Dovonex.
Q. "WHAT OTHER DISEASES WILL THIS WORK ON?"A. Dovonex is specifically indicated for moderate plaque psoriasis. Safety and effectiveness in other skin conditions have not been established. Use Dovonex only as prescribed by your doctor.
Q. "ONCE MY PSORIASIS HAS CLEARED, CAN I CONTINUE TO USE DOVONEX TO PREVENT IT FROM COMING BACK?"A. There have been no studies to show that Dovonex will prolong your remission from psoriasis. But due to the favorable safety profile of Dovonex, you may feel free to call your physician at the first sign of a flare-up to discuss re-instituting therapy.
Q. "IT SEEMS THAT WHENEVER I GET A FLARE-UP, I HAVE TO SEE MY DOCTOR FIRST TO GET A NEW PRESCRIPTION FOR THE SAME TREATMENT. SHOULD I EXPECT THE SAME WITH DOVONEX?"A. Keeping regularly scheduled appointments with your doctor is always the best way to check the status of your condition, adjust therapy, and gauge improvement.
Q. "WHEN I'VE STOPPED USING TOPICAL STEROIDS IN THE PAST, I'VE EXPERIENCED SUDDEN 'BREAKOUTS'. WILL THIS HAPPEN WIT DOVONEX?"A. Remember, Dovonex is not a topical steroid. However, there have been no studies to determine whether this "rebound" effect would occur with Dovonex therapy.
Q. "CAN I USE DOVONEX ON A TOTAL BODY PSORIASIS?"A. Dovonex is indicated for moderate plaque psoriasis. The only place where Dovonex should not be used is on the face. As always, consult your doctor for specific advice. And remember, Dovonex should be applied sparingly, and only to the lesions.
Q. "WHAT ADJUSTMENTS SHOULD I MAKE WHEN CHANGING FROM A TOPICAL STEROID TO DOVONEX?"A. Be sure to remind your physician of the fact that you are on a topical steroid. He or she may ask you to gradually reduce the amount of topical steroids you are using before or during your treatment with Dovonex.
Q. "CAN I USE DOVONEX WITH OTHER TOPICAL PRESCRIPTION PSORIASIS MEDICATIONS? TOPICAL STEROIDS, EMOLLIENTS, TARS, PUVA?"A. Dovonex has been shown to be highly effective when used alone for the treatment of psoriasis. However, your doctor may decide to prescribe combination therapy. Use the combination therapy as your doctor suggests.
Q. "CAN I GIVE DOVONEX TO A RELATIVE OR FRIEND WHO ALSO SUFFERS FROM PSORIASIS?"A. No. Like all prescription products, Dovonex should only be used by you. Direct your friends and relatives to their physicians so that they can be properly diagnosed and treated.
Q. "WILL YOU HAVE SOMETHING OTHER THAN AN OINTMENT?"A. Ointments are still the most effective way to treat psoriasis because of the dry, scaly surface of plaques. However, other formulations are currently being developed.
© 2006 Pacific Monograph