Tacalcitol: a useful adjunct to narrow-band ultraviolet-B phototherapy in vitiligo

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Abstract

Background

Phototherapy especially narrow-band UV-B (NBUVB) has been considered as mainstay of therapy in nonsegmental vitiligo (generalized type). Topical tacalcitol has also been claimed to be effective, either as monotherapy or as combination therapy.

Purpose

Comparison of clinical efficacy and safety of NBUVB in combination with topical tacalcitol vs. NBUVB alone in vitiligo.

Material & methods

Thirty patients with symmetrical vitiliginous lesions were enrolled for 24 weeks. Patients were instructed to apply tacalcitol ointment on right side of body once daily. In addition, the whole body was irradiated with NBUVB thrice weekly. All the patients were examined, and lesional photography was done. Patients were also followed up for 6 months post-treatment.

Results

Our study resulted in two key findings: (1) There was a statistically significant difference in mean percentage of repigmentation at 8, 16 and 24 weeks between combination therapy and NBUVB. (2) The mean cumulative dose and number of treatment sessions for initial repigmentation were significantly lower with combination therapy. No serious adverse effects were observed during the study period.

Conclusion

Topical tacalcitol potentiates efficacy of NBUVB as it enhances extent of pigmentation, decrease time to repigmentation and lowers the cumulative doses of NBUVB, thereby leading to greater patient satisfaction and improved compliance.

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