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February 1959

Methoxsalen and Sun-Tanning: A Blind Study

Author Affiliations

Davenport, Iowa

AMA Arch Derm. 1959;79(2):148-149. doi:10.1001/archderm.1959.01560140010002

Earlier observations by Fitzpatrick et al.1 and others2-6 suggested that methoxsalen, when taken internally and followed by exposure to sunlight, produced increased pigmentation and decreased burning of the skin. Controlled field trials in Arizona proved that pigmentation of the skin is augmented by the oral use of this drug.1 However, the recent blind study by Daniels et al.7 casts doubts on the effectiveness of this drug when taken in a dosage of 10 mg. The results of present investigation, which compares the effects of a sugar placebo and 20 mg. methoxsalen, indicate that methoxsalen in this high dose augments the tanning response.

Experimental Method

Identical-appearing tablets of methoxsalen* (10 mg.) and a lactose sugar placebo were issued under code numbers so that neither the physician nor the patient knew which preparation the patient received. Subjects consisted of patients and volunteers, who were