1 What is Oxsoralen?

Brand: Oxsoralen, Ultramop

Generic: Methoxsalen

Oxsoralen along with ultraviolet A light is used in the treatment of vitiligo (a disease in which skin become colorless). Methoxsalen belongs to a group called psoralen.

Oxsoralen (a psoralen) and ultraviolet A together called PUVA works by making the skin more sensitive to UV light.

Sensitivity results in damage to the skin cells and so damaged skin cells grow more slowly and the rate of tissue growth is reduced.

It may also be used for other conditions such as:

  • alopecia areata
  • eczema
  • inflammatory dermatoses
  • lichen planus
  • mycosis fungoid
  • need to increase tolerance of skin to sunlight and psoriasis

It is available in the form of lotion only with your doctor’s prescription.

2 What to Know Before Using

Before using Oxsoralen, you must know all about the risks and complications associated with it.


Inform your doctor if you are allergic to any food, preservatives, dyes, or had an allergic reaction when you used this drug before.


Methoxsalen should not be used in children younger than 12 years of age. Safety and efficacy have not been established.


It should be used with caution as they may be more sensitive to its effects.


It is a category C drug. It is not safe in pregnancy. It may cause harm and abnormalities in an unborn baby.

Breast Feeding

There are no adequate studies which prove that Methoxsalen passes into breast milk or not. If you are using Methoxsalen while nursing, discuss it with your doctor for possible risk factors.

Drug Interactions

Methoxsalen may interact with other drugs. Your doctor should be informed of any other medicines which you are taking. He/she may want to change the dosage or drug. Some of them are listed below:

  • Phenytoin
  • Anagrelide
  • Clozapine
  • Pirfenidone
  • Tegafur
  • Fosphenytoin

Other Medical Problem

Several other conditions may reduce its effectiveness.

Make sure you inform your doctor of conditions such as:

  • Skin diseases
  • Infections
  • Heart or blood vessel disease
  • Fair skinned
  • History of coal tar UV treatment
  • History of ionizing radiation
  • History of arsenic compounds or oral psoralen UVA treatment.
  • Lupus erythematosus
  • Porphyria
  • Skin cancer

3 Proper Usage

Proper usage of Oxsoralen requires strict adherence to your doctor’s orders. Read the medication guide carefully. Ask your pharmacist if you have any queries.

Do not use it more often than recommended by your doctor as it may cause serious sunburns, skin cancers or premature aging of the skin.

Avoid taking foods such as limes, figs, parsley, parsnips, mustard, carrots, and celery while you are being treated with this medicine as they may increase skin sensitivity to sunlight.

It is usually applied under your doctor’s supervision only on well- defined small lesion which can be protected by clothing or sunscreen from later exposure to UVA.

After each light treatment, thoroughly wash the treated areas of your skin. It may take 6 to 8 weeks or months to show improvement.


It is different for different patients. Dosage mentioned below is an average dose.it is best to take each dose at equally spaced times a day and night. You must follow your doctor’s command.

Adults and children 12 years of age and over: Apply to the affected area of the skin and allow it to dry for one to two minutes, apply again within two to two and half hours before UVA exposure.

4 Precautions to Take

In using Oxsoralen, you must be careful and take some precautions as advised by your doctor. Your doctor should check your daily progress at regular visits.

Avoid sun exposure for at least 24 hours before and 8 hours after the treatment. It includes indirect light through a window or on cloudy days. Wear protective clothing, or use a sunscreen with a sun protective factor (SPF) of 15 or greater, if you cannot avoid the sun. Protect all areas of the body, including lips, from sun exposure.

Use extra caution for at least 72 hours following each treatment if you plan to spend any time in the sun.

The treated area of skin becomes more sensitive to sunlight. Serious sunburn can occur even through a window glass or on cloudy days.

Do not use it more often than recommended by your doctor as it may cause serious sunburns, dry and itchy skin, skin cancers or premature aging of the skin.

5 Potential Side Effects

As with many medications, there are several potential side effects associated with Oxsoralen. Some people may experience none or minor side effects.

Consult with your doctor if they become problematic or frequent:

More common are:

  • Dryness or redness of the skin
  • Skin itching

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

6 Related Clinical Trials