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Psoriatec (Anthralin) - Description and Clinical Pharmacology



Psoriatec (anthralin cream 1.0%, USP) is a smooth, yellow cream containing 1% anthralin USP in an aqueous cream base of glyceryl monolaurate, glyceryl monomyristate, citric acid, sodium hydroxide and purified water. For topical dermatological use only.

The chemical name of anthralin is 1,8-dihydroxy-9-anthrone. The structure is:


Psoriatec contains anthralin, a synthetic compound whose precise mechanism of anti-psoriatic action is not yet fully understood. Numerous studies, however, have demonstrated anti-proliferative and anti-inflammatory effects of anthralin on psoriatic and normal skin. The anti-proliferative effects of anthralin appear to result from both an inhibition of DNA synthesis as well as from its strong reducing properties. Recently, anthralin's effectiveness as an anti-psoriatic agent has also been in part attributed to its abilities to inactivate epidermal 12-lipoxygenase and reduce levels of endothelial adhesion molecules which are markedly elevated in psoriatic patients. Inactivation of 12-lipoxygenase by anthralin substantially reduces levels of 12-hydroperoxyeicosatetraenoic acid and its inflammatory metabolites, which are present in high concentrations in psoriatic plaques. Anthralin does not appear to affect liver microsomal enzyme activity. Systemic absorption of anthralin after topical application of Psoriatec has not been determined in humans.

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