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In nature, methoxsalen is found in plants from the plant family Apiaceae. Chemically, methoxsalen is classified alongside other naturally occurring molecules known as furanocoumarins. Methoxsalen is utilized in the treatment of eczema, psoriasis, vitiligo, and select cutaneous lymphomas. Doctors use methoxsalen in concert with UVA lamplight as the methoxsalen adjusts the manner in which skin cells react to UVA radiation.


Methoxsalen should be used exactly as directed by your doctor. There are no uniform dosage standards. Dosage and usage is entirely predicated by the age, health, skin type, and condition of the patient. Your doctor will decide your dosage. Oral methoxsalen is typically taken with milk or low fat foods one and a half to two hours prior to the patient's UVA treatment.

Patients taking methoxsalen should wear wrap-around sunglasses during daylight to keep UVA rays from getting into the eyes as UVA light can create a potential cataract danger if methoxsalen binds to the eye's lenses. Ask your doctor to explain the risks and cautionary procedures that are necessary when using this drug.

Avoid all exposure to sunlight for at least eight hours after taking this drug.


Side effects may occur while using this drug. Pay close attention to any potential side effects that develop and contact your doctor if any seem to be worsening or lingering. Common side effects seen with methoxsalen are:

  • Itching
  • Nervousness
  • Depression
  • Insomnia
  • Nausea

Severe Side Effects:

Some patients may experience severe side effects. If you experience anything that feels severe or anything listed below, contact your doctor immediately or get medical attention at once.

  • Severe Skin Redness
  • Blurred Vision
  • Tunnel Vision
  • Worsening of Psoriasis Condition
  • Severe Itching
  • Severe Skin Discomfort
  • Skin Rash
  • Swelling
  • Blisters and/or Pimples
  • Seeing Halos
  • Feeling Like You Could Pass Out
  • Eye Pain and/or Swelling

Ask your doctor about allergic reactions. If at any time you feel you are having an allergic reaction, experiencing any side effect that you think may be an allergic reaction, or experiencing any swelling, trouble breathing, or hives, get emergency medical attention at once.


There may be many contraindications for the use of methoxsalen. Talk to your doctor about all possible contraindications.

Do not use methoxsalen unless your primary care doctor has instructed you to do so.

Be sure to discuss all your options with your doctor to decide if methoxsalen is the best option for your treatment.

Know the risks of UVA exposure as it relates to using this drug. If you are unclear on anything, ask your doctor for clarification before using methoxsalen.

Do not use methoxsalen if you have any of the following:

  • Albinism
  • Lupus
  • History of Skin Cancer
  • Porphyria
  • Any Damage to Lenses of Eyes

Methoxsalen is contraindicated for pregnancy.

Methoxsalen is contraindicated for breastfeeding.

Inform your doctor of all your conditions, medical problems, and medical history before taking this drug. Only your doctor can decide if methoxsalen will be safe for your use. If you have any of the following conditions, make sure your doctor is aware.

  • Recent Weight Loss (or gain)
  • Heart Disease
  • Skin Pigment Disorders
  • Liver Disease
  • History of Basal Cell Carcinoma
  • Any Past or Current Radiation or X-Ray Therapy
  • History of Cataracts
  • Extreme Sensitivity to Sunlight

WARNING: Methoxsalen can possibly cause serious damage to vision and skin. Talk with your doctor about the risks vs. benefits of using this drug. If your doctor deems this drug necessary for your treatment it is important to remain under your doctor's care throughout your entire treatment, to its completion.

  • "It is rare to find health professionals who are so willing to educate the patient on what they need to know."

    Clair C. | West Hollywood, CA