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Calcipotriol scalp solution

Updated 2 Feb 2023 | Vitamin D and analogues


Solution containing calcipotriol 50 micrograms per ml as calcipotriol hydrate.

Drugs List

  • calcipotriol 50microgram/ml scalp solution
  • Therapeutic Indications


    Psoriasis - scalp


    Duration of treatment should not exceed 22 weeks.


    One application twice daily (morning and evening) to affected areas. The maximum weekly dose should not exceed 60ml.
    When used simultaneously with calcipotriol cream or ointment, total weekly dose should not exceed 5mg. This could include 60ml of scalp solution plus 40g of cream/ointment, or 40ml of scalp solution plus 60g of cream/ointment.


    Scalp psoriasis (unlicensed)
    Children aged 12 to 18 years: One application twice daily to scalp. The maximum weekly dose is 45ml. When preparations used together, maximum total calcipotriol is 3.75mg in any one week for children aged 12 to 18 years.

    Children aged 6 to 12 years: One application twice daily to scalp. The maximum weekly dose is 30ml. When preparations used together, maximum total calcipotriol is 2.5mg in any one week for children aged 6 to 12 years.


    Children under 6 years
    Disorder of calcium metabolism
    Hepatic impairment
    Severe renal impairment

    Precautions and Warnings

    Children aged 6 to 18 years
    Concurrent ultraviolet light therapy
    Erythrodermic exfoliative psoriasis
    Pustular psoriasis

    Advise patient to wash hands after use
    Avoid occlusive dressings
    Do not mix with other drugs or substances
    Not to be applied to the face
    Avoid excessive exposure to UV light
    Patients should not exceed recommended dose

    The maximum weekly dose should not be exceeded as hypercalcaemia may occur. This condition resolves rapidly upon treatment cessation.

    Pregnancy and Lactation


    Use calcipotriol with caution in pregnancy.

    At the time of writing there is limited published information regarding the use of calcipotriol during pregnancy. Animal studies have shown reproductive toxicity when calcipotriol was administrated orally. It is not known whether calcipotriol crosses the human placenta but topically applied calcipotriol has shown systemic absorption, however a calcium homeostasis disruption is not expected. The manufacturer suggests to avoid the use of calcipotriol in pregnancy.

    The use of all medication in pregnancy should be avoided whenever possible; particularly in the first trimester. Non-drug treatments should also be considered. When essential, a medication with the best safety record over time should be chosen, employing the lowest effective dose for the shortest possible time. Polypharmacy should be avoided. Teratogens taken in the pre-embryonic period, often quoted as lasting until 14 to 17 days post-conception, are believed to have an all-or-nothing effect. Where drugs have a short half-life, and when the date of conception is certain, this may allow women to be reassured where drug exposure has occurred within this time frame. Further advice may be available from the UK National Teratology Information Service (NTIS) and through ToxBase, available via password on the internet ( ) or if this is unavailable at the backup site ( ).


    Use calcipotriol with caution in breastfeeding.

    At the time of writing there is limited published information regarding the use of calcipotriol during breastfeeding. It is not known whether calcipotriol is excreted in breast milk. Less than 1% is absorbed from the scalp when solution is used. It is unlikely plasma levels of calcipotriol would be elevated at all, and milk levels would be virtually nil because vitamin D transport to milk is normally quite low. Adverse effects in a breastfed infant are unlikely in short term use and if the surface area treated is moderate to low. The manufacturer suggests the use of calcipotriol is not recommended in breastfeeding.

    Neonates, infants born prematurely, those with low birth weight, those with an unstable gastrointestinal function or who have serious illnesses may require special consideration. For any infant, if a drug is prescribed to the nursing mother, it should be at the lowest practical dose and for the shortest time. When drug administration is unavoidable and breastfeeding is to continue, minimisation of exposure of the infant to the drug may sometimes be achieved by timing the maternal doses to just after a feeding episode. Infants exposed to drugs via breast milk should be monitored for unusual signs or symptoms. Interactions between the drug received by the infant from the mother's milk and medication prescribed for the infant should also be considered, for example, when the drug given to the infant may prevent metabolism of the drug received via breast milk.
    Specialist advice is available from the UK Drugs in Lactation Advisory Service at

    Side Effects

    Allergic reaction
    Burning sensation (local)
    Dry skin
    Erythema at application site
    Exacerbation of psoriasis
    Facial dermatitis
    Facial oedema
    Hyperpigmentation of skin
    Irritation (localised)
    Itching sensation (local)
    Perioral dermatitis
    Periorbital oedema
    Skin atrophy


    It is strongly recommended that the UK National Poisons Information Service be consulted on cases of suspected or actual overdose where there is doubt over the degree of risk or about appropriate management.

    The following number will direct the caller to the relevant local centre (0844) 892 0111

    Information may be obtained if you have access to ToxBase the primary clinical toxicology database of the National Poisons Information Service. This is available via password on the internet ( ) or if this is unavailable at the backup site ( ).

    Further Information

    Last Full Review Date: October 2016

    Reference Sources

    Drugs During Pregnancy and Lactation: Treatment Options and Risk Assessment, 3rd edition (2015) ed. Schaefer, C., Peters, P. and Miller, R. Elsevier, London.

    Drugs in Pregnancy and Lactation: A Reference Guide to Fetal and Neonatal Risk, 10th edition (2015) ed. Briggs, G., Freeman, R. Wolters Kluwer Health, Philadelphia.

    Medications and Mothers' Milk, Sixteenth Edition (2014) Hale, T and Rowe, H, Hale Publishing, Plano, Texas.

    Summary of Product Characteristics: Calcipotriol 50 micrograms/ml Scalp Solution. Sandoz Limited. Revised July 2016.

    NICE - Evidence Services
    Available at:
    Last accessed: 21 June 2017

    US National Library of Medicine. Toxicology Data Network. Drugs and Lactation Database (LactMed).
    Available at:
    Last revised: 26 April 2016
    Last accessed: 07 October 2016

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    Medscape UK | Univadis prescription drug monographs & interactions are based on FDB Multilex Content

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