Prescribing Advice for GPs

An NHS Prescribing Advisers' Blog

Calcipotriol cream discontinued

The manufacturer of calcipotriol cream (Dovonex®) has advised that this product has been discontinued for economic reasons.

The Psoriasis Association note that there are no safety or quality concerns. Current supplies of the cream can continue to be dispensed and used.

Calcipotriol ointment remains available, both as a generic product and as Dovonex. This may be a suitable alternative after consideration of patient acceptability of a greasier product.

Action: Clinicians should be aware of this product discontinuation and make arrangements to switch patients to suitable alternatives.

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101 Comments to “Calcipotriol cream discontinued”

  1. Hi, I live in New Zealand like everyone in the UK we find ourselves in the same place no davionex cream. Only oniment in place of it which is not really good option for the sufferers. It's always about dollars & cents. I will have to see my doctor to see where we go from here, I can't afford private health care. We do have daviobet gel; not as greasy it's not too bad but very small bottles which is more doctor visits for more. Also, we have coco scalp which is great for the scalp if I can help with any information please contact me. Thanks, Sue

    Comment by Susan — November 8, 2016 #

  2. Hi from New Zealand

    We have been advised now in 2016 that Daivonex is being discontinued!

    Absolutely gutted for all of the same reasons in these comments.


    Comment by Andrew NZ — May 2, 2016 #

    1. @Andrew NZ,

      According to DermNet Nz it seems that the cream is discontinued and only ointment remains available with effect from July 2016. So, it seems like the same is happening in New Zealand now as happened here in the UK in 2011.

      Comment by Matthew Robinson — May 2, 2016 #

  3. I just want to quickly add my story to this long list. I am 31 years old and have had severe psoriasis since the age of 13. I've tried all standard treatments (too many to list) as well as having been admitted to hospital on 3 occasions. I finally settled on Dovonex Cream after having previously dismissed Dovonex Ointment as ineffective and Dovobet as unsuitable for long term use due to recurring flare ups. Dovonex Cream was a life saver for me. Since it's discontinuation, I was placed on Dovonex ointment which resulted in repeated flare ups and no relief despite twice per day application (vs once per day with cream). I was then put back on Dovobet gel which is another of the supposedly suitable replacement therapies. Within 1 month of use I had a severe case of erythrodermic psoriasis and was rushed to A&E after passing out and falling in the shower. Whilst in hospital I was put on Humira which has been effective at treating the psoriasis but has resulted in a number of infections and very regular colds. I also worry about my long term health as a result of being on Humira due to it's immunosuppressive effects. I continue to be surprised and disappointed by the removal of Dovonex Cream from the market and feel that the Department of Health did not judge the situation acurately when this was approved for discontinuation.

    Comment by Thomas — November 1, 2015 #

    1. @Thomas

      I sympathise with you predicament and I am sorry to hear you still have not found a suitable replaced for Dovonex cream in the last 4 years. To clarify though, the Department of Health played no part in this decision; the choice to stop making the product was made by the manufacturer for commercial reasons. They cannot be compelled to continue making the product by the NHS or the Department of Health.

      Comment by Matthew Robinson — November 1, 2015 #

      1. Hi Matthew,

        Thanks for your reply. Is it not the case that an appropriate alternative must be available before a medicine can be withdrawn by the pharmaceutical company? For the Department of Health or NHS to play no part at all it must be the case that any medicine can be withdrawn with no analysis having been done on the impact of the withdrawal.

        I'd really appreciate you explaining this if possible.

        Comment by Thomas — November 7, 2015 #

        1. @Thomas

          I don't work for the Department of Health, MHRA or a pharmaceutical company so I am not entirely certain of any arrangements for products being discontinued.

          However, I would say that, as I am aware, there are no consultations that I have ever been aware of about a product being taken off the market. Applications are made to place a product on the market or to extend its areas for use. Consultations are made when the regulations over product are being consider for change - such as relaxed or tighter regulation of sales. Safety analyses are sometimes conducted to restrict prescribing or remove items from the market. But in my time as a pharmacist I have never seen any consultation or analysis over a product being removed from the market for any other reason.

          Comment by Matthew Robinson — November 7, 2015 #

    2. I just came across this thread when looking to see if Dovenex cream was available; I too found it the least antagonising topical treatment for psoriasis. I have been on biologics for 8 years now so have only needed topicals when I am transitioning between different ones so was late to find out about the discontinuation. I also wanted to comment on Humira and reassure Thomas that if Humira does not suit him another one might be more suitable as like lots of Psoriasis treatment, they do not work the same for everyone. Of course, which ever you take, it is extremely important to look after your general health when on immune suppressing treatments (get a flu jab, eat lots of fruit and vegetables, stay away from sick people and take special care of your oral health), but even though I too had lots of colds on Humira, I am now on Stelara, it is easy to forget how awful life is, and how the inflammation (that leads to psoriasis) is damaging your body inside and out. Biologics are much more targeted than systemic immune suppressing treatments like Methotrexate.

      Comment by Dani Kennedy — March 8, 2016 #

    3. I think the cream is better than dovonex ointment. I have used both and the cream is much better.

      Comment by Jemima MacVicar — October 31, 2017 #

    4. Hi Thomas,
      This is three years after you wrote but my suggestion is still valid.
      My psoriasis started when I was 35 and under severe stress. I started taking a 1000mg Royal Jelly capsule then and have done so since. After 3 months, my symptoms, admittedly on the milder side, disappeared and have not re-occurred. I found that, having come off the capsule for a period of time due to other reasons, they re-surfaced, so there is a three month lag in effectiveness.
      Royal Jelly is an allergen with some people so be careful but I suggest you try it to see if it relieves your symptoms.

      Comment by John Court — September 26, 2018 #

  4. I was prescribed Calcipotriol ointment and was given a tube of Dovonex made by Leo in Bucks. Is this the same stuff people have trouble getting?

    Comment by Scott — June 25, 2014 #

    1. @Scott,

      The issue is with the cream, the ointment is still widely available. Ointment is greasier and tends not to rub into the skin and disappear like a cream would.

      Comment by Matthew Robinson — June 26, 2014 #

  5. Just been to Spain again on holiday & we drove down so weren't limited to space & weight. A good pharmacist got us 15 tubes of Daivonex (Dovonex) cream, cost about £450.
    Fortunately we can afford it, but most can't. We are entitled to free prescriptions, so this is an unecessary cost because Leo have withdrawn the product from the UK market. I suspect this is because the NHS will not pay for it!!!!
    While we were away we also found out it can be obtained in France, but only on prescription.
    What a crazy world to withdraw a really good product due to ecconmic reasons when so much money is wasted / lost by the NHS.

    Comment by Mike Digby — October 22, 2013 #

    1. @Mike,

      I'm glad to hear you are at least getting supplies.

      The way the NHS drug reimbursement system works would mean that prescriptions for this cream would be paid for from NHS budgets provided it was licensed and available. In order to be refused for payment, medicines must be added to a list of products 'not to be ordered' more commonly called the black list. Neither calcipotriol or Dovonex are in that list so in theory at least would be paid. In practice this doesn't happen as the product cannot be sourced in the UK.

      So, just to be clear, the economic decision was made by the manufacturer and not the NHS.

      Comment by Matthew Robinson — October 23, 2013 #

      1. So why have Leo withdrawn it? Is it greed? I can't see that Spain with their ecconomic crisis are prepared to pay more than the UK.
        I think that Lloyds pharmacy have a product that might be available which is similar & sourced from abroad. (Under their own brand name) My thoughts are that if this is 'C CREAM' under a different name, then Leo's license may have expired & someone else is making it.
        I haven't actually managed to pursue this lead, as I have been on holiday but if I can confirm this & it is true, UP YOURS Leo & great relief for thousands of UK suffers.

        Comment by Mike Digby — October 25, 2013 #

    2. Hi
      Just back from Tenerife where you can buy it over the
      counter at any chemist it's called Daivonex there
      for about 30 euros 100g.

      Comment by Quin — December 2, 2013 #

    3. I have had psoriasis for over 20 years and have used Dovonex and Dovobet. Here is a link to explain the difference between the two.

      I found personally that the Dovobet worked for me but unfortunately this is the one that contains the topical steroid, which has thinned my skin.
      I have also had PUVA treatment, through the hospital, which also worked, but unfortunately carries a small risk of skin cancer.

      This link will take you directly to the Leo Pharma page and lists the products they make.

      Also here is a link to the discontinued products by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, where it states that Dovobet is still available in the 120g tube (6th October 2012).

      I hope this is of help to people

      Comment by Jujul — January 24, 2014 #

  6. I have just been to the doctors for get some more of the DOVONEX OINTMENT, however they were reluctant to do so, the nurse I spoke to rattled on about how each 30g tube cost the NHS £23 and I go through one a week. Eventually I got referred to a doctor who agreed the treatment as it has been successful for me in the past. I understand this is an expensive treatment, however if they didn't prescribe this and they do discontinue it, then they will be shelling out a lot more money to handle depression that would arise and most probably frequent hospital visits for tar treatments, which surely would all amount to much more than £23 a week.

    I have found my most successful technique for fast treatment is to:
    1. Moisturise with ZEROBASE emollient cream, as much as possible all day and night, e.g 8/10 times a day. (MOST IMPORTANT FOR ME)
    2. 1 x Morning and 1 x night application of DOVONEX OINTMENT
    3. Weekly visit to a tanning bed (without this, effectiveness is about halved.)

    This really will keep it at bay and clears up absolutely all flaking for me, sometimes though redness remains, however it's so unpredictable that sometimes I wonder what other factors affect P. Diet? Stress? Hormones? I'm sure its all linked, but we have no clear explanation!

    Comment by CeceLouise — April 26, 2013 #

    1. @CeceLouise,

      I'm not sure where the nurse got the quoted price from but the Drug Tariff which is the agreed payment price to the dispensing pharmacy, April 2013 edition lists Calcipotriol Ointment 30g at £5.78 per tube based on the price for Dovonex. If you are using a tube per week then this would be approximately £23 per month.

      If this approach keeps your psoriasis under good control though I would described that as cost-effective and therefore an appropriate use of NHS resources.

      Comment by Matthew Robinson — April 26, 2013 #

  7. I was convinced that it was the doctor wanting to make a saving until I did research into the withdrawal of the cream. My hands are very bad and I teach Computing - the cream was ideal as it sank into the skin quickly. The ointment is useless, absolutely useless for use on the hands as it just sits on the skin in a slimy mess. I am looking for an alternative but none appears to exist. Shame on the company.

    Comment by Stephen Bird — February 10, 2013 #

    1. I'm in the same boat as everyone else on here. I've emailed the company three times only to be told the same thing: "IT'S BEEN DISCONTINUED". I had to tell my doctor this over a year ago as she wasnt aware of it, but she did manage to get me two tubes from somewhere else both now used up. I have really bad scalp psoriasis and I'm slowly being driven mad by 24 hour itching. I can't use ointments on my scalp because it clogs in my hair and its really hard to shampoo out. I am now on Methotrexate which I didn't really want to take as it has many side affects. For me it's the last resort and I have to say that after 4 months has not worked. I'll give it another two months and hope for the best. I also now use Doublebase which does shampoo off easier better than using ointments. My thoughts are with you all.

      Comment by Linda — February 16, 2013 #

      1. Hi Linda,

        I suffer from scalp psoriasis too but Diprosalic scalp application works really well. Sorts it out in two days usually. Worth a go

        Comment by Gav — February 28, 2013 #

        1. Highly recommend Diprosalic Scalp Appliation, I've been using it for 22 years and anytime I have a flare up it clears it within a week. Be warned the first couple of times you use it, it can sting as you have open cuts if you scratch. And use it directly after washing you hair, it is absorbed into your scalp with the water and does not make your hair look awful. It dries normally. At least that is my experience of it. I swear by it.


          Comment by Kelly — March 6, 2013 #

        2. Highly recommend Diprosalic Scalp Appliation, I've been using it for 22 years and anytime I have a flare up it clears it within a week. Be warned the first couple of times you use it, it can sting as you have open cuts if you scratch. And use it directly after washing you hair, it is absorbed into your scalp with the water and does not make your hair look awful. It dries normally. At least that is my experience of it. I swear by it.

          Comment by Kelly — March 6, 2013 #

      2. Hi, I have psoriasis on the scalp. Dead Sea shampoo from Holland and Barrett is good. Shampoo hair, leave on for 3 mins rinse off. If I change shampoo it comes back.

        Comment by Lizzy — June 13, 2013 #

    2. Hi. My consultant said that after applying moisturiser, I should rub Dovonex ointment into the skin "with vigour", as this warms the skin and open the pores allowing the medicine to sink in more effectively. I always thought that it should be left to sink in. Anyway, I tried what the specialist recommended and rubbed it in thoroughly. This worked pretty well, leaving only a small amount of residue, so I was able to dress and not be stuck to my clothing!

      Comment by Tim — November 9, 2015 #

  8. Hi All,

    I too am upset like you all. I have suffered with this for 21 years and although Dovonex cream didn't cure the problem it kept them at bay with no new ones appearing for years. Since last April my psoriasis have gotten really bad. My big plaques on my elbows and knees have quadrupled in size and now I have psoriasis on my hands, feet and face and ears for the first time ever! I am seriously fed up and it is getting me depressed. I no longer wear skirts, short sleeve tops and I itch all the time, with giant red, flaky legions. My skin looks like a join the dot childrens picture, basically not good. I spoke to my Doctor who is willing to get me a private prescription and appt costing £40, and boots are charging £17.22 for 60g tubes. It's expensive but now as I am ashamed of my body, I find it worthwhile. I hope some of you find this useful and can afford to do this occasionally. I suspect I will only do this once a month due to the cost, but this has to be better than them getting progressively worse as no other treatment works.

    Comment by Kelly — February 4, 2013 #

    1. I am in the same position as you. With the Dovonex cream my psoriasis was red but not scaly and some areas had cleared completely. My scales are now coming back. The Dovonex ointment is horrible. It does work a bit and works better when mixed with a moistureiser so it absorbs into the skin. I wish I could find someone who makes a similar cream.

      Comment by Ally Stewart — March 20, 2013 #

  9. I too am absolutely gutted that the cream has been discontinued. I don't understand how they can withdraw a product that is so effective for so many people. It's the only thing that worked on my skin, and now my psoriasis has come back in full force. The ointment is disgusting, and as I have the psoriasis all over my legs it is impossible to put the greasy ointment on in the morning and then get dressed. It's all sticky and slimy, like covering yourself in vaseline then putting clothes on, and it doesn't work as well either. I will be ringing the company after reading these comments and just hope that if enough of us do then they may change their minds. I'd like the people who made the decision to cover themselves in the ointment then go about their day, see how they get on.

    Comment by Liz Meadows — January 19, 2013 #

  10. The Dovonex cream was ideal as it moisturised my skin, was absorbed easily and left no horrible greasy residue. I can't believe it's been withdrawn leaving the unctuous ointment (which I will be glad of no doubt but still..) Do these companies not do any form of customer research? The ointment might be cheaper to produce, but I bet not as many customers procure it as they would the cream. It's really quite upsetting to realise that treatment for our condition is only enabled so others can make money out of our misery. I don't know why I'm surprised but I had an optimistic if naive hope that drug companies actually cared!! More fool me.

    Comment by John Smith — January 3, 2013 #

  11. My psoriasis started when I was 16 (inherited from my grandfather)at the age of 48 I had a heart attack, the medication that I was prescribed exacerbates the psoriasis and like you all I used to find that the cream was ideal for my purposes I now use Dovonex ointment in conjunction with E45 moisturiser and find that the ointment is more readily absorbed and does not leave so much of a grease feel. Not the ideal solution that I like but it does seem to do the trick, let us hope that our cries are heard and the pharmaceutical companies come up with a better treatment that allows us to function as near "normal" as possible.

    Comment by Peter — November 30, 2012 #

  12. My wife is in the same state as most of all the subscribers to this site. There is probably only 20% of her body not affected. A 120g tube of cream last 5/6 days but a 60g tube of ointment only lasts 1 day & is hard to rub in, she feels like covered in oil /grease & clothes when washed still feel greasy. So double washing? Leo saves money but not us!
    While on holiday in Spain at a local pharmacy we found we could purchase 'THE CREAM' for about €28 for a 100ml tube & the practitioner said they could get more if ordered.
    My wife was so ecstatic she ordered 6 tubes, which she now has at home hidden (Rocking horse poo)
    Our neighbour is going is going to Spain soon & my wife has asked her if she will go into the same pharmacy to pick up 4 more tubes which she has already ordered. The assistant can speak very good English.
    This is expensive, does not need a prescription, but why, why, why, has it been discontinued in the UK when there is obviously a big market force. We are retired & are entitled to free prescriptions, but if we can get what is necessary abroard we will pay.
    It must be lack of NHS pressure or the government will not pay the high cost of about £20

    Comment by Michael Digby — November 13, 2012 #

    1. Hi, it would be appreciate give me the pharmacy address in Spain, I am really suffering the illness at moment

      Comment by Xiu Chen Lee — April 21, 2014 #

  13. Having done some research - Dovonex Cream is still produced in Ireland.
    If you are prepared to get a private prescription from your GP and make
    a journey to a pharmacy in Dublin - they have to pre-order it. But, it is available in 30gm at a cost of 20+ euros per tube! If you have a friend travelling to Ireland they could collect it for you?
    I have spoken to both Leo Labs in Bucks, England and Dublin. While supposedly being sympathetic, both will not get involved and help. I hope this is useful.

    Comment by Kevin Edwards — September 19, 2012 #

    1. I have had psoriasis for 15 years and have just tried Dovonex for the first time. It seems to be the first thing that has worked. The first chemist said it was discontinued but the second local one to me got in small 30g tubes which I got 5 of. Having read this thread I'm worried that I won't be able to carry on getting it.... Will ask my local chemist if they can keep getting this product. What's going on?

      Comment by Sug — November 4, 2012 #

      1. @Sug,

        It really depends on whether your tubes contain cream or ointment. The situation as I understand it is that the cream has been discontinued but the ointment is still available (and in 30g tubes).

        Comment by Matthew Robinson — November 4, 2012 #

        1. Thanks, makes sense having read more of the thread too.

          Comment by Sug — November 4, 2012 #

    2. Hi Kevin, do you know if it's still true that Dovonex cream (or any other calcipotriol cream) is still manufactured in Dublin? My friend has really troublesome psoriasis and can't get the cream anymore and I want to help her out.

      Thanks in advance,

      Comment by Habib — February 18, 2017 #

  14. I was interested to see the many conversations concerning DOVONEX CREAM. I have just been put to a lot of inconvenience but not by the withdrawal of the cream version! I had been prescribed the ointment in 120 gram tubes but was told by my Pharmacist (Rowlands Rugby) that the ointment had been discontinued and that I would have to have the cream. The doctor couldn't prescribe this and it took a month, a letter + 2 visits to the surgery to sort it out. I have now been informed by the GP that the ointment is available and given a prescription.
    I think the ointment is now only prescribed in 30 gram tubes with the 120 gram being discontinued.

    I had a bad experience with DOVOBET a few years ago and gave it up. At the time I was told that it is about 4 times more expensive than DOVONEX - maybe this is a reason for dropping the cream. Whilst the cream is more acceptable to use I have found that the ointment is more effective in suppressing the skin condition.

    Comment by Ken Eyre — September 14, 2012 #

    1. @Ken,

      It seems like you have been given a bit of a run around. Dovonex Ointment is not discontinued at all, simply a pack size change so I think you have been misinformed by your pharmacy.

      Comment by Matthew Robinson — September 14, 2012 #

  15. It's just way too sad this product has been discontinued. I could cry and have cried.
    I need help and would like to know what is a similar product that I can use as its now becoming painful to walk and do daily things 🙁
    Dovonox Cream was a fabulous working treatment, nothing comes close....
    If you know of a similar product please let me know

    Comment by Miss T — September 6, 2012 #

    1. @Miss T,

      You really need to discuss this with your doctor, there are alternatives but finding one that works and that you find acceptable may take a little time and effort. You doctor can help you find an alternative.

      Comment by Matthew Robinson — September 6, 2012 #

    2. ask for the same stuff but in ointment form - it still works apply straight after bath, then moisturise then apply and it work it gently into each bit, it is not as greasy then. (its better than nothing)

      Comment by Andrea — September 10, 2012 #

  16. Me again, after years of snubbing the Dovonex Ointment - I have now started to use it for the past three days. I had a massive flare up due to not being able to use the cream. The inflammation has started to go down (thank goodness) but still shedding skin quite a lot but it has calmed down a little. If this helps anyone, I moisturise - let it soak - then apply ointment and sit for about 20 mins to let it soak in - I wear black trousers and tops that dont show the grease marks, if any. My message to follow sufferers is, be thankful that this stuff is still going and make the best of it. I am so grateful, as the steriod flared me up in weeks...
    Good luck and any tips pass them on.

    Comment by Andrea — September 3, 2012 #

    1. @Andrea,

      I'm very pleased to hear that you are getting some satisfaction from your new treatment and thanks for coming back to report your positive experiences.

      Comment by Matthew Robinson — September 3, 2012 #

  17. My doctor has said give him a month to see what else he can offer me, I need to make an appointment, having read all the above, I will be wasting my time. I too have now had a 50% flare up as I have no more cream - with painful inflamation and scabby skin.
    I'm sick fed up, how could they remove a cream that lets face it, didn't work but kept it at bay. There are so many people that suffer with this disease and still after all these years they want to get rid of us out of the surgery and shove methotrexate down our necks or give us dangerous steroid creams!!
    No one cares!!

    Comment by Andrea — August 28, 2012 #

    1. @Andrea,

      There are alternatives to calcipotriol cream available but if you won't even considering discussing them with your doctor never mind using them I can't see how you can expect your skin to improve. Your doctor has asked you for some time to find a solution and yet you think he wants to get rid of you out of the surgery. At the very least I think you should give your doctor the chance he's asking for.

      Comment by Matthew Robinson — August 29, 2012 #

      1. I will be calling the doctor this week when he is back from leave and I merely meant, having read all the comments on here, it looks unlikely that he has found an alternative. However, I had not realised that they have the ointment still available, although its not practical I will give it another bash - will put it on once a day at night and lie perfectly still with no duvet on, so that I dont stick to the sheets ugh!

        Comment by Andrea — August 30, 2012 #

  18. Just like to add that I'm another upset former user of the Dovonex cream. I only have psoriasis of the scalp, and have been very pleased with Dovonex cream for over 10 years. The ointment is cosmetically completely unacceptable!!

    Comment by Bo Todos — August 8, 2012 #

  19. They also discontinued the cream in Belgium. I think it is unethical for a pharmaceutical company not to look for alternatives for their patients by granting an earlier usage as generic. By imposing Dovobet with steroids Leo is triggering a lot of side effects. For example, insuline resistance could come up, nad trigger diabetes.

    In Germany the calcipotriol cream is available and will stay available under the name Hexal calcipotriol 0.005 . It costs around 72 Euro for a 120 grammes tube. It is produced and marketed by a subsidiary of Sandoz, called Hex. If you get a prescription from a UK doctor and contact a German Pharmacy, then you should get hold on it. Even better would be to create a purchase group at your local psoriasis association to buy in bulk from German wholesellers. Meanwhile, you should lobby Sandoz to take over this cream as soon as possible

    Comment by Michel From Belgium — August 4, 2012 #

    1. @Michel,

      It's interesting that there is a generic available in Germany. I wonder if availability might spread if the generic companies feel there is a market.

      As a note for UK readers, any prescription for supply from Germany would be a private script, rather than an NHS one, which means you'd be liable for the 72€ charge.

      Comment by Matthew Robinson — August 4, 2012 #

  20. I have been contacted directly by Leo Pharmaceuticals and at my request they have prepared the following statement:

    Dovonex® cream withdrawal
    After careful consideration the cream formulation of Dovonex® (calcipotriol) was discontinued from the Company’s psoriasis portfolio by LEO Pharma in the UK in October 2011. This irreversible decision was taken to focus resources on investing in the research and development of new treatments and solutions to ultimately deliver improved outcomes for people living with psoriasis.
    Dovonex® Ointment contains the same active ingredient, calcipotriol, as Dovonex® Cream, and is licensed to treat the same conditions. We understand that a consequence of any product formulation discontinuation is that some patients may find that an alternative formulation is not appropriate for them, even though the key ingredient may be the same. We advise people affected by this discontinuation to return to their healthcare professional to discuss their individual management needs and request support on how to get the best outcomes.

    LEO Pharma has a wide portfolio of dermatology care solutions; and it is quite normal for companies to discontinue older products, such as Dovonex® cream that was launched over 20 years ago, in order to invest in newer treatments and services. LEO Pharma remains committed to providing efficacious treatments and support programmes for people living with psoriasis, and the discontinuation of the cream formulation in the UK should not be taken as a sign of any reduction in this commitment.

    This statement makes it very clear that the cream is discontinued and that this decision will not be reversed. Upsetting though that may be to previous users of the product suggestions that groups are set up to lobby for a reversal are, in my opinion, counterproductive.

    I would like to leave the comments on this thread open to allow discussion of possible alternatives that may be available. In order to do this I will delete on sight any future comments that suggest or endorse lobbying for a return of the cream.

    I have also been made aware of two patient resource web sites that you may find useful, these are and

    Comment by Matthew Robinson — July 19, 2012 #

    1. This response points out that LEO pharma are committed to focusing resources into research and development. Very commendable but why discontinue the only cream based treatment available? Why not discontinue the ointment based treatments that it would seem nobody wants to be stuck with. I have suffered with psoriasis for over 20 years and the Dovonex cream was the only treatment I found acceptable (despite it not actually working at least it kept it at bay). I am now stuck with ointment based treatments which have an extremely negative affect on my (and it would seem many others) quality of life. It is bad enough knowing that you are probably going to have to suffer with this condition for the rest of your life without someone making a financially based decision which reduces your quality of life even further.
      I have been led to believe that the Department of Health need to be convinced that there are suitable alternatives available before a treatment can be discontinued? Perhaps they would like to point out the alternatives that are available because ointment based treatments are NOT suitable alternatives. I think the impact on the people who used this cream has been completely overlooked by LEO pharma for financial considerations. You should not have to alter the clothes you wear or change when you can apply the treatment.

      Comment by Shaun — September 10, 2012 #

  21. Maybe someone could set up a Facebook page or group and try to get some interest that way?

    Comment by Emily — July 16, 2012 #

    1. Hi,

      I am very annoyed at discovering this - the ointment is not practical for twice daily use, if anything I am amazed at this and the fact they still do not manufacture dovobet as a cream formula.

      Does anyone know of an alternative cream?

      Comment by Ian — July 17, 2012 #

  22. I am very concerned that I am not able to be prescribed a cream formulation as like many others on here, ointments are totally impractical for daytime use and Silkis the non steroidal one I find useless. My psoriasis has got much worse and I don't like dovobet. I am not sure but every time I use this, I have difficulty sleeping and awful headaches. I find my doctor and pharmacists really have no idea what impact this has and how to manage this properly a psoriais sufferer needs something that can be applied that does not put a layer of grease on the skin. This isn't a life threatening disease, but it is very uncomfortable and restricts what you can wear. I hope that something can be done.

    Comment by Rita — July 2, 2012 #

    1. My sister has just sent me a link Re: Dovonex cream and scalp solution and it appears that we CAN purchase them on line with a doctors prescription (Private or NHS). A life line for all us sufferers hopefully. Not read it all but just wanted to share this with you all. There is also a doctor on hand to help. Sounds good to me. Good luck fellow sufferers.

      Comment by Linda — July 5, 2012 #

      1. @Linda,

        I'm not sure you will be able to access this product despite it being advertised. It seems that some online providers have been slow in updating their product pages and are showing items that are no longer available. I hope I wrong.

        Comment by Matthew Robinson — July 6, 2012 #

        1. Hi Matthew. Thanks for telling me that. I have an appointment next week with my doctor (yet again) with the idea of asking her for a new prescription to get Dovonex online, so now it's back to the drawing board for me. The plaque I can put up with but this itching is really driving me mad.
          I know that there are people much worse off than me but if only I could be giving something, anything to stop me scratching I would be over the moon, it's soul destroying. All the hospital want to give me is Methotrexate. I have heard is very dangerous so I really do not want to take it. Thanks again Matthew

          Comment by Linda — July 6, 2012 #

          1. @Linda,

            Methotrexate is an immunosuppressant so it can have some very nasty side effects. That said, the health service are very much aware of these side effects which is why very regular blood tests are done frequently at the very beginning becoming a little less frequent once someone is stable. Sometimes the risk of test side effects and the regular bloods tests are well worth the benefits that can result from the treatment. Don't rule out this treatment without asking lots of questions about it first.

            Comment by Matthew Robinson — July 6, 2012 #

  23. Please Leo bring it back, it's so saddening to think there's a cure for me out there and I cannot now use it.

    Comment by Emily — July 2, 2012 #

  24. I too found only the cream to work. Discovering it was my salvation and when I heard it was being withdrawn it was like a blow to the stomach! My psoriasis has increased by about 40% and I am starting to get very depressed. I've tried everything else, all the horrid sticky ointments etc. nothing works and the ointment makes my hair greasy.

    Comment by Emily — July 2, 2012 #

  25. Everyone should email leo-pharma and get the cream back.

    Comment by Emma Dell — June 14, 2012 #

    1. I called Leopharma today and the medical information team were helpful and at the same time very apologetic. They said Dovonex cream, as reported elsewhere, was withdrawn for economic/marketing reasons. They said they contacted the Department of Health first to get permission to withdraw the cream, and that they would not have been allowed to do so unless the DoH were satisfied alternatives were available.
      She also said that their medical trials showed that the ointment was a more successful treatment than the cream.
      Obviously I explained that for me, and for thousands of others like me, this is not the case, and that I am desperate to get hold of the cream, as this has worked so well for me, whereas the ointment doesn't.
      The woman I spoke to recorded my response and said they would write to me and then to my GP, as the information I provided would be fed back to the company and may help to reverse the decision; so I suggest that everyone affected, if that haven't done so already, contact Leopharma and officially register their views with them.
      Apart from this, I guess a petition is the only other option. Leopharma's number is: 01 844 347333

      Comment by Matt S — June 26, 2012 #

    2. I have emailed Leo three times only to be told the same thing every time, that they have now discontinued the scalp solution and the cream and will not be bringing them back.
      I'm slowly being driven mad by an itchy scalp that never lets up day in day out 24/7. Ointment makes the situation worse as I cannot get the grease out of my hair. I use Doublebase Gel which is really a cream from the doctor but that only moisturises but does not stop the itching. HELP.

      Comment by Linda — July 5, 2012 #

      1. Oh gosh Linda you are absolutely right! I'm suffering the same as you... my confidence has plummeted, my scalp psoriasis has got worse and also on my body which I am sure is down to shame and embarrassment. I work in an office and have to go down to the ladies loo to scratch my scalp and then blow the flakes away under the hand dryer... it's a major consideration when I lean over someone's desk to talk about work and can see the flakes falling on their keyboard. I'm so humiliated... the scalp solution used to be my lifeline and then the cream as that continue for longer. Now, I can't use the ointment as it is so greasy I can't wash it out even with fairy liquid which ruins my hair. Way to feel beautiful!!! NOT!

        Comment by Anita — April 28, 2013 #

  26. As a last resort alternative to Dovonex, I was perscribed curatoderm lotion. I was so excited to get something none greasy. I went today to pick it up to find out that it has also been DISCONTINUED!

    Comment by Emma Dell — June 14, 2012 #

  27. So many people are suffering from the discontinuation of dovonex cream. That cream was the only thing that helped me. The ointment does not work for me, it has made me depressed beyond belief. I simply cannot put grease all over myself twice a day and function normally. I have ruined so many clothes and bed sheets with the greasy, sticky alternative. I'm so upset about it. There is nothing on the market and I'm desperate to get the cream back. I don't believe there is not a market for it when you read all the people suffering on this website.

    Since that cream has gone I cry everyday. I've gone from about 40% covered to about 80% covered and extremely painful. I am sick of wearing old clothes and looking like I have chip fat dripping off me. The cream worked, save my life and bring it back.

    Comment by Emma Dell — June 14, 2012 #

    1. @Emma,

      Have you spoke to your GP about alternatives to the cream? There are other options?

      Also, I'm quite worried about the way you are describing your frame of mind. I think you may need some help there too so please go and speak to your GP.

      Comment by Matthew Robinson — June 14, 2012 #

      1. Been to GP so many times I could scream. They say there is nothing. No alternative cream. ONLY GREASY ones, or smelly or both. They just shrug and say it's ointment or nothing.

        I can't funtion with "lard" all over me. I have it on now and it makes me itch and sweat. I will be wearing old torn clothes and leaving smears on bed sheets.

        The only place I don't have psoriasis now is on my hands.

        Nobody takes me seriously. I don't cry in front of doctors and I put a brave face on for the outside world, I have learnt to do that after 18 years of suffering.
        I need that cream back so bad.

        Comment by Emma Dell — June 14, 2012 #

        1. @Emma,

          There are other ointments and while these may well be greasier than a cream they are not all created equal so you may find one that you can use. One other option is a gel which is absorbed like a cream, the issue with this product is that it also contains a steroid but given the extent of you psoriasis at the moment is may well benefit from a stronger treatment anyway.

          Comment by Matthew Robinson — June 15, 2012 #

          1. I'm sure Emma appreciates your replies Matthew, but unless you're actually in the situation that people like me and Emma are in, this is really no help at all. I do not want to use any more steroids on my skin - even though I suffer from severe psoriasis (over 50% of my body is affected) - I have used steroids on and off for over 20 years and the cumulative effect is extremely deleterious. None of the ointment alternatives to Dovonex cream are effective and they are also awful to use if you have a large amount of psoriasis. What is tragic is that Dovonex cream worked so well! It kept my psoriasis at bay and most of my body completely clear. Having run out of Dovonex cream I am now back to the horror of extreme psoriasis. I really think we need to petition Leopharma to resume manufacturing this product.

            Comment by Matt S — June 26, 2012 #

          2. @Matt S,

            I am simply trying to offer solutions on my blog. If I had a magic wand I could wave that would bring the cream back I'd wave it but as we both know that's a ridiculous solution to a problem that is not of my making.

            What exactly would you have me do instead of offering up the available alternatives as solutions?

            Comment by Matthew Robinson — June 26, 2012 #

  28. My daughter has got on very well with Dovobet gel so far, but have not yet revisited the GP as required or tested for the fabled rebound effect.

    We went through this when Cocois (for scalp) was withdrawn by UCB. Thankfully Derma UK have now produced and equivalent that not all pharmacists/doctors know about. Perhaps Derma UK will step up again, and continue to realise their stated philosophy
    "...., we recognise the importance of having a choice of products available in order for doctors to tailor treatments to individuals’ conditions".

    I have emailed them, you could too.

    Dovonex Ointment is also to be shrunk from 120g to 30g tubes, wasteful as I see it, but at least now it can be taken in hand-luggage on planes......rather than half ozing out of pinprick holes in the tube when transported at hold-pressure.

    Comment by Clive Mason — June 13, 2012 #

  29. I too am very sad that this cream has been discontinued and have had a flare up since not being able to get hold of it.
    The solution I have found is after bathing in oilatum plus (with antiseptic), apply the ointment while my pores are open, I apply it quite thick and then put tights on to keep it close to my skin overnight. I've also been using the Dovobet scalp solution on my tougher patches and hands as I find that it is easier to apply and not as messy as the ointment. It's hard work but is stopping it flare for now. Hope this helps!
    I can't belive they have discontinued the cream, it was so convienient. It's a absolute joke!

    Comment by Suzanne — June 7, 2012 #

  30. Why would they stop making a cream that works for thousands of people and keep a ointment that no one likes to use? If you were a sufferer of psoriasis we would still be able to get the cream

    Comment by Andrea Jones — June 6, 2012 #

    1. @andrea,

      Just to clarify, I am simply relaying this information, it was not my decision to discontinue this product, it was the manufacturers decision. Additionally, if, as you say, thousands of people use this cream then there would have been a continued market for it an no reason for the company to stop making it as they would have been selling large quantities. That said, use the information posted below and express your feelings to the manufacturer.

      Comment by Matthew Robinson — June 9, 2012 #

      1. I am one of those thousand and I am at my lowest point without the cream!

        Comment by Emma Dell — June 14, 2012 #

  31. I spoke to the manufacturers today, and was also told that they have discontinued the cream due to economic reasons and that they hold the licence until 2014, so I assume this means no one else can produce it. I also spoke to the Psoriasis Association, who are meeting with Leo later this year and would welcome emails, so that they can feed back the feelings of users.
    I agree with other users that the ointment is awful and sticky to use.

    Comment by Roberta Jennings — May 29, 2012 #

  32. Having the same problem as have been told by my doctor that there is no cream alternative only ointment, which I agree is just not comfortable.

    I have telephoned Leo Pharma and I have emailed the managing directors pa. The more people who email and tell there story it might be enough to help bring this back.

    Email: [Moderated - email removed for privacy reasons]

    Comment by Fiona — May 4, 2012 #

    1. I hate the ointment being referd back to hospital for other treatment had light treatment but exhausted my options for creams

      Comment by Peter — May 4, 2012 #

    2. Just emailed my disappiontment to leo-pharma. My psoriasis has gotten worse since I stopped using dovonex (pregnancy) and now that I finally can return treating my psoriasis, I have no cream to use. Just reading that dovonex has discontinued makes me so itchy. I am sad, angry, I am back to square 1, to find another treatment that will work. By the way, the person who pulled the plug on dovonex, does he has psoriasis? I guess not.

      Comment by Liz — May 10, 2012 #

    3. Email sent to Leo-Pharma.
      Gutted that the Dovonex cream has been discontinued. Hate the ointment, greasy and does not work.
      Hopefully they will see the need for us psoriasis sufferers!

      Comment by Graham Jackson — May 13, 2012 #

    4. Yeah, I'm getting the same problem as everyone on this thread. The common misconception by doctors is that the alternatives are dovobet ointment (thick gel) and exorex (stinky coal tar) that makes me even more itchy, and that they will work as well as the cream. Nowhere near it in my opinion! And I'm sure many of you.

      Anyway thank you Fiona, I emailed Elaine and I suggest also that everyone does the same, otherwise as in my case my psoriasis has gotten very bad again, making me also very depressed.

      Does anyone know if this is the only place that does Dovonex Cream or are there international aternatives abroad?

      Comment by Davy — May 26, 2012 #

  33. After spending weeks in phototherapy each year, my partner was prescribed Dovonex cream by his GP and hasn't needed to return for therapy since. Alas, this cream that made such a difference to him has been withdrawn. He has used the ointment which is far too greasy and ineffective. He is practically covered head to foot in psoriasis and has various other health complications. We are keen not to have to travel a round journey of 45 miles three times a week for phototherapy. GP has given curatoderm and eumovate but these don't help. Is there anything close to Dovonex cream that we should request from the GP? Feeling quite desperate.

    Comment by Karen Gill — April 29, 2012 #

    1. @Karen,

      Calcipotriol (Dovonex) is a drug type called a 'vitamin D analogue'. The Curatoderm is similar but is also an ointment, there is another called calcitriol (Silkis) that might be worth a try but this is an ointment too. There is a rapidly absorbed gel called Dovobet that contains a steroid and calcipotriol that might also be worth trying. Speak to the GP about what works and what doesn't and hopefully you'll find something that works.

      Comment by Matthew Robinson — April 30, 2012 #

  34. I was told by a Co-op Pharmacy that Dovonex Ointment was being discontinued on 30 April 2012. Bear in mind this is supplied by a number of wholesalers : it might be a question of going round a few chemists to get a supply

    Comment by Billy Eadie — April 18, 2012 #

    1. Dovonex Ointment is being replaced by a 30g tube size according to information I have received from the manufacturer.

      Comment by Matthew Robinson — April 18, 2012 #

    2. I've been told that it's just a manufacturing delay rather than being discontinued. My most recent prescription was only printed in early April. A 120g tube lasts me the best part of a year these days so I'm fortunate in that I no longer need to use much, but I'm concerned if my GP has prescribed it to me seemingly ignorant of these issues

      Comment by Karen Vye — April 30, 2012 #

      1. I'm lucky if my cream last me a couple of weeks

        Comment by Peter — May 4, 2012 #

  35. Told by pharmacist today that dovonex ointment impossible to obtain with no date of resolution. Gave me a couple of tubes of cream in stock to keep me going. Anyone else having problems with obtaining prescription

    Comment by Judy Caldicott — April 16, 2012 #


    A member in Scotland has just come upon a case of a dog dying, apparently after licking its owner's leg not long after the owner had applied a cream to her leg.

    The problem appears to be an ingredient called Calcipotriol which is a vitamin D analogue. It is used in ointments for eczema and psoriasis. This case suggests that it may be fatal to dogs in minute doses - even just one lick.

    Until we hear any more, please pass this on as an alert for dog owners who have skin problems to check the ingredients of any creams they use

    Comment by Tanya — April 15, 2012 #

  37. So disappointed to hear that Calcipotriol Cream has been discontinued. I found this to be invaluable due it's effectiveness for my Psoriasis. I have psoriasis along my hairline and the cream was perfect to effectively keep it clear of being flaky, and for great improvement. The ointment is too thick and greasy. I feel it would have been better to have kept the cream instead. As I long time sufferer of Psoriasis I thought of this cream as my salvation in the knowledge that I always had a back up as I tried and tested various treatments. It takes a sufferer of this condition to appreciate a cream such as this one was so,I suppose that an appeal to reconsider to the Manufacurers would not be influential. It's a pity though they did not take into account how many people the cream helped in what can only be described as a lifelong condition which hinders living life to the full.

    Comment by Christine Dunbar — April 11, 2012 #

  38. I agree with Ally Stewart please someone come up with a cream that is at least the same dosage as Dovonex ie 50mics/gm not 4mics/gm.

    Comment by Ally Whyatt — March 24, 2012 #

    1. @Ally,

      I'm guessing here but from the strength you quote I suspect you've been given a totally different ingredient called tacalcitol, there is another option too called calcitriol. These agents are more potent so you need to use less hence the lower strength.

      If it's not helping go back to your doctor and talk about the other alternatives.

      Comment by Matthew Robinson — March 24, 2012 #

      1. Have calcitriol been back to doctors and been given a prescription for generic calcipatrol but having great difficulty getting hold of it!

        Comment by Ally Whyatt — April 17, 2012 #

  39. They stopped the best one. The ointment is crap. At least the cream cleared the flaky skin completely.

    Comment by Ally Stewart — March 9, 2012 #

  40. ...and what the the similar alternatives???

    Comment by Garry — January 8, 2012 #

    1. @Garry,

      In the UK, you can still get calcipotriol in an ointment base rather than a cream but there is a possibility that people using this will find it too greasy in comparison to the old cream. You can also get alternative products containing similar active ingredients, namely calcitriol and tacalcitol. Finally, there is the option to use calcipotriol in combination with betamethasone and this is still a cream, here though there is another ingredient that may not be desired in all situations.

      Comment by Matthew Robinson — January 8, 2012 #

    2. I'm hoping to try something stronger I've had methotrexate but not for me had to stop using it hospital said. Hopeful of a outcome that clears it either tablets or injection. I will try anything as had psoriasis for 43 years just want to lead a normal life like going swimming with my kids and granddaughters walk around topless not feeling like a lepper. I'm male 56 years old got aches and pains just had enough then they stop using dovonex cream, why?

      Comment by Peter — May 4, 2012 #

  41. It's sad to see how the current economic situation is taking its toll on the pharmaceutical industry..

    Comment by Specials — December 2, 2011 #

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