Anthralin for Psoriasis

Anthralin is used to treat psoriasis. It may also be used to treat other skin conditions as determined by your doctor, such as alopecia aerate.

In the U.S., this medicine is available only with your doctor's prescription.

Brand names include the following: Anthraforte 2%, Anthraforte 3%, Anthrascalp, Dritho-Scalp, Drithocreme, Psoriatec, Zithranol, Zithranol-RR. There may be other brand names for this medicine.

How It Works

Anthralin works by slowing the growth of skin cells and inflammation associated with psoriasis. It is generally used for the treatment of plaque psoriasis and scalp psoriasis

Although safe and effective, it can take several weeks or months of treatment with anthralin to see positive results.

Anthralin may be combined with other psoriasis treatments, including phototherapy (UVB and PUVA), tazarotene (Tazorac®) or topical corticosteroids.

How to Use

Cream, Shampoo

Your doctor will tell you how much medicine to use. Do not use more than directed.

Use this medicine only on your skin. Rinse it off right away if it gets on a cut or scrape. Do not get the medicine in your eyes, nose, or mouth.

Wash your hands with soap and water before and after you use this medicine.

Apply a thin layer of the medicine to the affected area. Rub it in gently.

While applying this medicine to your scalp, shampoo and rinse your hair with water before and after each treatment period. Apply this medicine to the affected area while the hair is still damp.

This medicine will stain fabrics, plastics, or bathroom surfaces. Use a protective bandage or covering over the treated area to avoid staining of your clothes or bed linens.

After bathing or showering, rinse and clean your bathtub or shower to prevent staining of the tile, plastic, or porcelain

If a dose is missed:

Apply a dose as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then and apply a regular dose. Do not apply extra medicine to make up for a missed dos

Take anthralin exactly as directed by your doctor.

Read the medication guide that you receive with the medication for a complete list of possible side effects.

Speak with your doctor if you are concerned about possible side effects that you may be experiencing.


Last updated February 16, 2016

This information is for general educational uses only. It may not apply to you and your personal medical needs. This information should not be used in place of a visit, call, consultation with or the advice of your physician or health care professional.

Communicate promptly with your physician or other health care professional with any health-related questions or concerns.

Be sure to follow specific instructions given to you by your physician or health care professional.

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