Health Guide

Methoxsalen (On the skin)

Methoxsalen (meth-OX-a-len)

Treats vitiligo (skin disease). Used along with ultraviolet light found in sunlight and some special lamps.

Brand Name(s):

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to methoxsalen, or to other psoralen compounds. You should not use this medicine if you have melanoma, skin cancer, or if you have a disease with extreme sensitivity to sunlight (such as porphyria, lupus).

How to Use This Medicine:


  • Your doctor will tell you how much medicine to use. Do not use more than directed.
  • A nurse or other trained health professional 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.

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are using medicines such as anthralin, coal tar, griseofulvin, or phenothiazines (Compazine®, Phenergan®).
  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are using a sulfa drug (such as trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole, Bactrim®, Cotrim®, or Septra®). Tell your doctor if you also use nalidixic acid, or tetracyclines such as doxycycline, minocycline, Minocin®, or Vibramycin®.
  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are also using antiseptic soaps, diuretics (water pills) such as hydrochlorothiazide (Maxide®), or certain organic staining dyes such as methylene blue, toluidine blue, rose bengal, or methyl orange.
  • Do not put cosmetics or skin care products on the treated skin.

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breast feeding.
  • This medicine may make your skin more sensitive to sunlight. Wear sunscreen. Do not use sunlamps or tanning beds.
  • Do not use this medicine to treat a skin problem your doctor has not examined.

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
  • Severe burns of the treated area of your skin.

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

  • Blistering of your skin.
  • Mild skin rash.

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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