Vitamin D analogues

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Vitamin D Analogues, calcipotriol, calcitriol and tacalcitol, should not be confused with vitamin tablets or liquids that you may take as dietary supplements. Whilst their chemical structure may be based on a vitamin D3 molecule they have been modified to have a completely different effect.

They slow down the over production of skin cells and stimulate differentiation of keratinocytes in the skin correcting the abnormally fast cell turnover that characterises psoriasis. Unlike naturally occurring vitamin D, they have less effect on calcium metabolism, so the risks of high levels of calcium in the blood (hypercalcaemia) or in the urine (hypercalciuria) are reduced. Nevertheless there are limits to how much can be used at any one time to limit the possibility of these side effects happening.

The ease of use and low side effect levels have made these agents popular with medical professionals.

More recently one of these agents has been combined with a topical corticosteroid to help reduce skin inflammation as well.