Methoxsalen review

Methoxsalen is a natural substance that is derived from the seeds of the Ammi majus, a plant known for its photoactivating characteristics. Methoxsalen belongs to a classification of drugs called furocoumarins and psoralens, and it is usually indicated in the treatment of psoriasis, a skin disease that causes inflammation and scaling; vitiligo, a skin pigmentation disorder, and eczema.

Methoxsalen is also used in the treatment of a type of cutaneous lymphoma known as mycosis fungoides.

Methoxsalen is also known as Methoxypsoralen, and is normally administered together with ultraviolet (UVA) light treatments known as PUVA or photopheresis. This treatment is given via a special lamp which emits ultraviolet rays. Methoxsalen works by stimulating skin cells and allowing them to be more receptive to ultraviolet radiation, which in turn helps to eradicate the skin ailment.

Methoxsalen should be given with care and under the direct supervision of a medical professional. This is because the medication can cause dangerous side effects like eye damage and skin disorders if improperly administered. Patients should also remember that the different brands of this medication may cause different reactions, hence one brand should not be substituted or exchanged for another.

Methoxsalen should not be given to patients who have high blood pressure or liver ailments as this increases the risks of skin inflammation and liver damage. It is a very potent type of medication that causes photosensitivity to both eyes and skin. Patients exposed to PUVA can incur painful sunburn and eventual premature aging if Methoxsalen is not used as directed by a qualified physician. Because of this, patients should discuss with their doctor the risks of using this drug vis-a-vis its potential benefits.

Patients should also inform their doctor of any allergies they might have to Methoxsalen, or other drugs, food, dyes and preservatives. While there has been no evidence that Methoxsalen can harm a fetus or cause adverse effects on a breastfeeding infant, pregnant and breastfeeding patients should inform their doctor of their condition before starting Methoxsalen therapy.

Patients who are taking cancer medications, arsenicals, or have recently had an x-ray should inform their doctor before taking Methoxsalen, as these increase the risks of side effects from the drug's accompanying PUVA therapy.

Patients who have other medical conditions like infections, skin cancer, eye diseases like cataracts, heart disease, stomach disorders, lupus erythematosus (a chronic skin condition characterized by inflammation, sores and scarring), porphyria (a skin and nervous system ailment), or other skin problems should consult their doctor before taking Methoxsalen, as the drug may cause adverse effects because of these preexisting conditions.

Likewise patients should avoid eating Methoxsalen-contraindicated foods like limes, parsley, mustard, figs, celery, carrots and parsnips, which can increase sunlight sensitivity. During PUVA treatment, patients should use protective goggles to prevent the development of cataracts, and don protective clothing, sunglasses, and apply sunscreen on exposed skin immediately after treatment to prevent the possibility of sunburn.

Before Methoxsalen treatment, the doctor should be given a list of all over-the-counter or prescription medications, including vitamin, mineral or herbal supplements that the patient is taking to rule out the possibility of dangerous drug interactions.

Methoxsalen side effects include dizziness, headaches, nausea, sleeping difficulties (insomnia), and changes in the color of a patient's skin after the first few weeks of treatment.

It is available with prescription under the brand names 8-MOP, Uvadex, Oxsoralen and Oxsoralen-Ultra. It comes in hard and soft gelatin capsules and 10 mg tablets. Each patient will require a different dosage prescription depending on their medical requirements, and it will take an average of 7 to 8 weeks before Methoxsalen starts to work on the system.

Methoxsalen has the following structural formula:

Chemical structure of methoxsalen

• Molecular formula of methoxsalen is C12H8O4
• Molecular weight is 216.19 g/mol
Methoxsalen available : 10mg tablets

Brand name(s): Ammodin, Ammoidin, Meladinin, Meladinine, Meladoxen, Meloxine, Methoxa-Dome, Methoxaten, New-Meladinin, Oxoralen, Oxsoralen, Oxypsoralen, Puvalen, Puvamet, Uvadex, Xanthotoxin, Xanthotoxine, Xanthoxin, Zanthotoxin

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