Safety and efficacy of oral calcitriol (1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3) for the treatment of psoriasis

Br J Dermatol. 1996 Jun;134(6):1070-8.


Plaque-type psoriasis has been successfully treated with oral calcitriol, but there has been no long-term follow-up on the safety and efficacy of this calciotropic hormone for psoriasis. In a single centre study, patients were enrolled in an open trial to evaluate the efficacy and safety of oral calcitriol for psoriasis. Of the 85 patients who received oral calcitriol, 88.0% had some improvement in their disease; 26.5, 36.2 and 25.3%, had complete, moderate and slight improvement in their disease, respectively. The mean baseline psoriasis area severity index score (PASI) of 18.4 +/- 1.0 was reduced to 9.7 +/- 0.8 and 7.8 +/- 1.3 after 6 and 24 months on oral calcitriol therapy. Serum calcium concentrations and 24 h urinary calcium excretion increased by 3.9% and 148.2%, respectively, but were not outside the normal range. Bone mineral density remained unchanged. The clearance of creatinine decreased by 13.4% from baseline during the first 6 months of treatment, and thereafter, remained unchanged after 3 years of follow up. An evaluation of creatinine, inulin and paraaminohypurate (PAH) clearance was performed in eight patients. After 6 months on oral calcitriol, there was a 22.5% decline in creatinine clearance but no significant changes were observed in either inulin or PAH clearance, suggesting that calcitriol alters creatinine metabolism or secretion but does not affect renal function. Oral calcitriol is effective and safe for the treatment of psoriasis.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Bone Density / drug effects
  • Calcitriol / administration & dosage
  • Calcitriol / adverse effects
  • Calcitriol / blood
  • Calcitriol / therapeutic use*
  • Calcium / metabolism
  • Dermatologic Agents / administration & dosage
  • Dermatologic Agents / adverse effects
  • Dermatologic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Glomerular Filtration Rate / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Kidney Calculi / chemically induced
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Psoriasis / drug therapy*
  • Psoriasis / pathology


  • Dermatologic Agents
  • Calcitriol
  • Calcium