A comparative study of efficacy and safety of topical calcitriol and topical calcipotriol in stable chronic plaque type psoriasis


  • Leela Hugar Department of Pharmacology, BM Patil Medical College, Vijayapura, Karnataka, India
  • Ramesh H. Department of Pharmacology, Karnataka Institute of Medical Science, Hubli, Karnataka, India




Calcipotriol, Calcitriol, Cutaneous safety, Cutaneous discomfort, Global assessment, Plaque type psoriasis


Background: Topical calcitriol and calcipotriol, the two vitamin D derivatives although considered efficient in treating psoriasis, their comparative studies are relatively scanty. The objective of the present study was to evaluate and compare the efficacy and safety of calcitriol and calcipotriol in stable chronic plaque-type psoriasis.

Methods: Total 50 patients of chronic stable plaque-type psoriasis were randomly divided into two groups of 25 each. One group received calcitriol 3µg/g ointment and the other group received calcipotriol 50µg/g ointment twice daily for 12 weeks. Efficacy evaluations comprised global improvement (on a 4-point scale from 0: no change, to 3: clear or almost clear) assessed clinically and by the subject. Efficacy further included the ‘dermatological sum score’ (DSS) at each study visit. Safety evaluations (on a 5-point scale from 0: none, to 4: very severe) included clinical assessment of cutaneous safety and assessment of cutaneous discomfort by the subject.

Results: Both calcitriol and calcipotriol were significantly effective (p <0.001) in reduction of DSS but the difference between the two groups was not statistically significant. Mean score of global improvement assessed clinically was 2.20 for calcitriol and 2.16 for calcipotriol (p >0.05) and by the subject was 1.92 for calcitriol and 1.84 for calcipotriol (p >0.05). The difference between the two groups was not statistically significant. The mean worst score for cutaneous safety was higher in calcipotriol group compared to calcitriol group (0.28 vs 0.04 and 0.36 vs 0.04 by clinically and by the subject, respectively). Statistically significant better safety profile (p <0.05) was seen for calcitriol, only when assessed by the subject. 24% treatment related adverse events were reported with calcipotriol against only 4% with calcitriol.

Conclusions: Topical calcitriol and calcipotriol showed similar efficacy in the treatment of chronic plaque psoriasis while calcitriol showed better safety profile in comparison with calcipotriol, in terms of local tolerance and induced less treatment related adverse events.


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How to Cite

Hugar, L., & H., R. (2019). A comparative study of efficacy and safety of topical calcitriol and topical calcipotriol in stable chronic plaque type psoriasis. International Journal of Basic & Clinical Pharmacology, 8(3), 402–408. https://doi.org/10.18203/2319-2003.ijbcp20190509



Original Research Articles