Health Guide

Methoxsalen (By injection)

Methoxsalen (meth-OX-a-len)

Treats Cutaneous T-Cell Lymphoma ("CTCL," a type of cancer). Used before photophoresis treatment, where your blood will be treated with ultraviolet radiation (UV light).

Brand Name(s):

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

You should not receive this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to methoxsalen (Uvadex®, Oxsoralen®) or any other psoralen medicine, such as trioxsalen (Trisoralen®). You should not use this medicine if your skin is very sensitive to light, or if you have a disease that makes your skin sensitive to light. Do not use this medicine if you are pregnant, or if you have aphakia (no lenses in your eyes).

How to Use This Medicine:


  • Your doctor will prescribe your exact dose and tell you how often it should be given. This medicine is given as a shot directly into the bag used for the UV light treatment.
  • A nurse or other health provider will give you this medicine.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Tell your doctor if you are using any other medicine that might also make your skin more sensitive to light. These medicines include anthralin (Psoriatec®), coal tar, griseofulvin (Grifulvin®, Gris-Peg®), nalidixic acid (NegGram®), and halogenated salicylanilides (bacteriostatic soaps). They also include thiazide diuretics ("water pills"), such as hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ), or some staining dyes such as methylene blue, toluidine blue, rose bengal, or methyl orange.
  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are using a sulfonamide medicine, such as trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole, Bactrim®, Cotrim®, or Septra®, or if you are using a tetracycline medicine, such as doxycycline (Vibramycin®), or minocycline (Minocin®). Tell your doctor if you are using a phenothiazine medicine, such as prochlorperazine, Compazine®, Mellaril®, Phenergan®, or Thorazine®.
  • Make sure your doctor knows if you have ever had radiation therapy or arsenic therapy.

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Using this medicine while you are pregnant can harm your unborn baby. Use an effective form of birth control to keep from getting pregnant. If you think you have become pregnant while using this medicine, tell your doctor right away.
  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are breast feeding, or if you have basal cell carcinoma (a type of skin cancer).
  • You could get a serious sunburn while using this medicine. Carefully follow all instructions from your doctor.
  • Stay out of sunlight for at least 24 hours (1 day) after you have received this medicine. This includes avoiding sunlight that comes in from a window or when riding in a car. Also be aware that even when the sky is cloudy, the UV light can still reach your skin. If you must be in the sun, wear clothing that covers all of your skin. This includes long sleeves, a hat, and gloves. You can also apply sunscreen that has an SPF (sun protection factor) of greater than 15.
  • Wear wrap-around sunglasses that will protect your eyes from UV light for at least 24 hours (1 day) after taking this medicine. Show your sunglasses to health caregivers. Caregivers will make sure that your sunglasses protect your eyes from UV light.
  • Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve or if they get worse.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Trouble seeing or any vision changes.

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Lightheadedness or fainting.

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Last Updated: 7/4/2018
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