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What is methoxsalen?

Methoxsalen is a natural plant substance that is photoactive. It is in a class of medications called psoralens which work by increasing cell response to ultraviolet-A (UVA) light. Methoxsalen is the active ingredient in oral and topical medications used to treat psoriasis and vitiligo and in photopheresis ingredient to treat cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL). Severe psoriasis, not sufficiently responsive to other treatment, and vitaligo, a disease in which the skin loses its pigmentation, are treated with methoxsalen in combination with UVA in a treatment called PUVA. Methoxsalen is used with another type of ultraviolet light therapy called photopheresis to treat CTCL, which is also called mycosis fungoides. In the United States, methoxsalen comes in capsules sold under the brand names Oxsoralen-Ultra and 8-MOP, in a topical lotion sold under the brand name Oxsoralen Lotion, and in a photopheresis component sold under the brand name UVADEX.

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