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Vectical (calcitriol)

Reviewed by: HU Medical Review Board | Last reviewed: September 2023

Vectical® (calcitriol) is a topical treatment for plaque psoriasis symptoms. It is generally prescribed for the treatment of mild and moderate plaque psoriasis in adults and children 2 years and older.1

Vectical comes in the form of an ointment that is usually applied directly to the skin twice a day.1

What are the ingredients in Vectical?

The active ingredient in Vectical is calcitriol.1

How does Vectical work?

Psoriasis is an autoimmune condition that causes a person's body to make too many new skin cells before the old skin cells can be shed naturally. The new skin cells push the older ones to the surface, where they build up and cause psoriasis plaques.2

Vectical is a type of medicine that is made from naturally occurring vitamin D3. It works by binding to vitamin D receptors in skin cells. This process helps reduce the number of new skin cells that your body makes, in turn reducing plaques.1

What are the possible side effects?

The most common side effects of Vectical include:1

  • High calcium levels
  • Itching
  • Skin discomfort

These are not all the possible side effects of Vectical. Talk to your doctor about what to expect when taking Vectical. You also should call your doctor if you have any changes that concern you when taking Vectical.

Other things to know

Avoid applying Vectical to your eyes, lips, or face. Apply only enough ointment to cover your affected skin area. Gently run Vectical into the affected areas until it disappears into your skin.1

Wash your hands after using Vectical, unless you are using the medicine to treat your hands.1

There is not enough data to know if Vectical is safe to use while pregnant or breastfeeding. Before using Vectical, tell your doctor if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding. They can help you decide if Vectical is right for you.1

Vectical can interact with other medicines, especially:1

  • Medicines that can increase your calcium levels, like water pills (diuretics)
  • Calcium or vitamin D supplements

Before beginning treatment for psoriasis, tell your doctor about all your health conditions and any other drugs, vitamins, or supplements you are taking. This includes over-the-counter drugs.

For more information, read the full prescribing information of Vectical.

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Treatment results and side effects can vary from person to person. This treatment information is not meant to replace professional medical advice. Talk to your doctor about what to expect before starting and while taking any treatment.