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July 1986

Psoralens: New Formulation! Better Formulation?

Author Affiliations

Department of Dermatology Beth Israel Hospital Harvard Medical School 330 Brookline Ave Boston, MA 02215

Arch Dermatol. 1986;122(7):763-765. doi:10.1001/archderm.1986.01660190041012

For more than a decade, psoralen plus long-wave ultraviolet-A irradiation (PUVA) has been used extensively to treat psoriasis.1,2 During this time, crystalline methoxsalen (8-methoxypsoralen [8-MOP]) has been the principle oral psoralen available for PUVA therapy in the United States and is currently the only 8-MOP formulation approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Typically, 0.6 mg/kg of this drug is administered two hours before UV-A irradiation. Its absorption is quite variable, and this can compromise therapy and increase side effects.3-5 Different routes of psoralen administration and alternative psoralen formulations have been used in attempts to obtain more consistent serum levels. Because topical6,7 and rectal8 administration are unacceptable to many patients, alterations in the oral preparations, as reported in this issue of the Archives,9 or in the administration schedules, appear to be more promising approaches in overcoming the current problems with bioavailability. In this editorial, we