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Derm News: 2007.26(6)

An investigator-masked comparison of the efficacy and safety of twice daily applications of calcitriol 3 g/g ointment vs. calcipotriol 50 g/g ointment in subjects with mild to moderate chronic plaque-type psoriasis

Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology, 21(4):466-472
X Zhu, B Wang, G Zhao, J Gu, Z Chen, P Briantais, P Andres


Calcitriol and calcipotriol, two vitamin D derivatives, are available for topical treatment of psoriasis and have been shown to be effective.


To compare the efficacy and safety of calcitriol 3 g/g and calcipotriol 50 g/g.


This was a multicentre, randomized, investigator-masked, and parallel comparison in subjects with mild to moderate chronic plaque-type psoriasis receiving either calcitriol or calcipotriol ointment twice daily for 12 weeks. Efficacy evaluations comprised global improvement (on a 4-point scale from 0: no change or worse, to 3: clear or almost clear) assessed by the investigator and by the subject. Efficacy further included the 'dermatological sum score' at each study visit. Safety evaluations included adverse event reporting, cutaneous safety assessed by the investigator and cutaneous discomfort assessment by the subject (both on a 5-point scale from 0: none, to 4: very severe).


A total of 250 subjects of both gender were recruited. At week 12, the LSmean score of global improvement rated by the investigator was 2.27 for calcitriol and 2.22 for calcipotriol. This difference was not statistically significant, with calcitriol demonstrating to be non-inferior to calcipotriol for global improvement. This same parameter was scored by the subject, with a mean of 2.12 for calcitriol and 2.09 for calcipotriol. The percentage of patients with at least marked improvement tended to be in favour of calcitriol (95.7% vs. 85% for calcipotriol). However, differences were not statistically significant. The mean worst score for the cutaneous safety assessment was higher in the calcipotriol group (0.3 vs. 0.1 and 0.4 vs. 0.2, by the investigator and the patient, respectively). These differences were statistically significant in favour of a better safety profile for calcitriol (P = 0.0035). Fourteen dermatological and treatment-related adverse events were reported with calcipotriol vs. only five with calcitriol for a total of 22 adverse events reported throughout the study.


Calcitriol administered twice daily over a 12-week treatment period demonstrated similar efficacy to calcipotriol, while showing a significantly better safety profile.

    Back to Current Volume:   Dermatology News 2007.26

The Derm News service provided by the Editorial Consultants of Skin Therapy Letter© and its founding editor Dr. Stuart Maddin.