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Oral psoralen (methoxsalen)

Your doctor has prescribed methoxsalen for you. It is also known as meladinine.

What is methoxsalen used for?

Methoxsalen belongs to a group of medicines called psoralens. Methoxsalen increases your skin’s sensitivity to high intensity long wave ultraviolet light (UVA). It is used together with ultraviolet light in a treatment called PUVA to treat psoriasis or other skin problems as determined by your doctor. This medicine has been prescribed for your current medical condition only and should not be given to other people or used for other problems.



How should I take methoxsalen?

  • Methoxsalen comes in the form of tablets or capsules. Take this medicine only as directed by your doctor.
  • Take this medicine after food to reduce stomach upset.
  • This medicine works best if exposure to ultra violet light takes place 2 hours after you take it. Treatment may not be effective if exposure is too soon or too long after taking it.
  • Do not increase your dose or spend more time in the sunlight. This will not make the medicine act more quickly and may instead result in a serious burn.



What should I do if I forget a dose?

If you miss a dose, or are late in taking a dose, notify your doctor so that your light treatment can be rescheduled.



What other effects may methoxsalen cause?

Certain side effects of this medicine are not unusual and may even disappear during treatment. If any of the following effects persist or are severe, consult your doctor:-

  • Nausea, vomiting.Taking it with some food usually reduces these effects.
  • Skin rash or itch
  • Dizziness or headaches
  • Leg cramps
  • Trouble in getting to sleep
  • A slight reddening of the skin for 24 to 48 hours after exposure to light. This is a normal effect. However, check with your doctor if your skin becomes sore and red or blistered and excessively dry. This may be a sign of overdose.
  • Dry and itchy skin. You may apply any emollient or moisturizers, for example aqueous cream, emulsifying ointment, liquid paraffin, olive oil, urea cream or vaseline.
  • Long term PUVA treatment increases the risk of developing skin cancer. Check your body regularly and report to your doctor about any skin sores that do not heal, new skin growths or existing skin growths that have changed in the way they look or feel.
  • Prolonged PUVA treatment may also cause permanent premature aging of the skin. This is similar to skin aging caused by excessive sunbathing. It has been reported that the risk of akin cancer increases with prolonged PUVA



What precautions should I take?

  • Check with your doctor if you are pregnant, intending to conceive or are breastfeeding.
  • Inform your doctor of any other medication you are taking as there can be interaction between both medicines, or if you have ever had any allergic reactions to methoxsalen.
  • Methoxsalen increases the sensitivity of your skin and lips to the ultra violet light in sunlight. Excessive exposure to the sun even in indirect light, for example, on a cloudy day or through a glass window, may cause a serious burn.
  • For at least 10 hours following each treatment, even in indirect light:
  1. Cover your skin with full protective clothing (hat, long sleeves, long pants, gloves).
  2. Use a sunblock with an SPF of 15 or above to protect other exposed areas of skin.
  3. Use a sunblock lipstick with an SPF of 15 or above to protect your lips.
  4. Protect your eyes with special wraparound glasses that totally blocks or absorbs ultraviolet light. This helps to prevent cataracts.
  • Your skin may continue to be sensitive to ultra violet light for sometime after treatment. Do not sunbathe for at least a further 48 hours after treatment.
  • Keep to your appointments regularly so that your doctor can monitor your response and adjust your treatment accordingly.



How do I store this medicine?

  • Keep this medicine away from heat and direct sunlight in a cool,dry place, out of reach of children.
  • Do not keep this medicine with other medications in the same container. Keep each medicine separately in labelled containers.



When in doubt, consult your doctor or pharmacist. 



Source of information: here