While topical medications remain the cornerstone of the psoriasis treatment paradigm, they also come with the risk of multiple side effects. An alternative topical treatment option, calcipotriene or calcipotriol, is a vitamin D derivative that is thought to work by inhibiting keratinocyte proliferation and enhancing keratinocyte differentiation. Multiple studies have demonstrated its efficacy and safety in improving psoriasis when used in combination with topical corticosteroids. Given the effectiveness and side effect profile seen with this combination of topical steroid and calcipotriene, the US Food and Drug Administration approved a calcipotriene/betamethasone dipropionate product for use in psoriasis patients over the age of 12 in 2006. Our paper seeks to review clinical trial evidence of this combination medication and its use in the treatment of psoriasis vulgaris. While assessment of available evidence indicates that the topical medication is both safe and effective for the treatment of psoriasis vulgaris, addressing limitations of what is known, such as tolerability, adherence, and patient preference, of this combination drug in future high-impact studies is needed.
Keywords: betamethasone diproprionate; calcipotriene; psoriasis; steroids; topical treatment; vitamin D.