December - Special

Psorigon Danger
from Simon D.

Hello there. My 15 year old son has just been hospitalized in Cambridge, England, after a very bad steroid rebound caused by the market withdrawal of Psorigon.

His consultant dermatologist told me that Psorigon contained a very potent steroid (not shown on the label). It worked like a miracle for my son who used it for 2 months.

PS-98 was claimed to be a minor reformulation, but in fact the potent steroid was removed.

Therefore my son's Psoriasis got 200% worse.

I have written to the makers, Pharmavita, demanding compensation for my son, who now has visible steroid damage.

The ethics of this company, in promising a natural cure, and then including a very strong steroid, are unbelievable. -Simon D., Zurich , Switzerland

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Ed's Response: After receiving this e-mail, I wrote to the National Psoriasis Foundation to see if they knew anything about Psorigon. Here is the response...

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(12/10/98) Hi Ed: No, the NPF doesn't have an "official" statement about Psorigon or PS-98. From the rumors we've heard over the last several months, it may be another Skin Cap episode; an over-the-counter product (Psorigon) with a steroid present, then a new formulation (PS-98) without a steroid present. Another rumor reports the product was recalled in Germany due to the discovery of a steroid and/or retinoid as an ingredient, but I do not know if that is true. I believe there has been discussion of Psorigon on the newsgroup. You may find more information there. The NPF staff doesn't get a lot of questions about this, so far. I'll let you know if we hear more or inquiries pick up. -Sheri D., National Psoriasis Foundation

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Ed's Response: On Sheri's suggestion, I went to 'pinch.com' and did an archive search of the newsgroup (alt.support.skin-diseases.psoriasis) archives (thank you, Ed Anderson!). Here are three of the items I found....

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Christian Dahm, 1998/11/06, alt.support.skin-diseases.psoriasis

I've recently read an article in a local newspaper which reports that the over-the-counter drug "Psorigon Skin Regenerator" has been taken from [off the] market in Germany. Any customer who has bought this product should return it to his pharmacist. Laboratory testing through a federal health ministry has indicated the presence of a steroid and Tretinoin (a vitamin A derivative). For both ingredients a prescription is needed and they are not declared on the packaging. They warned about possible side effects.

My pharmacist said the whole product line (cream, shampoo, body lotion) has been recalled and is no longer sold.... Does anyone know something about these things? (It reminds me of Skin Cap...) -Christian in Germany

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JACOS, 1998/11/12, alt.support.skin-diseases.psoriasis

"Psorigon" was taken from [off the] market around four weeks ago due to steroids not being listed in the contents. It now has a new name, "PS 98." PS 98 has not yet been tested for steroids. Buyer beware.

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bebe9472, 1998/11/15, alt.support.skin-diseases.psoriasis

I recently used Psorigon ointment and after less than three weeks was completely clear of P which I have had over the whole of my body for 20 years. I was trying to find out where to buy it locally (NE England) and was told that the name has been changed to PS 98. Was sent a sample of PS 98 and, checking the ingredients, found that they have changed three.

Having put all sorts of junk on my body—given to me by the medics, some of which caused severe burns and caused severe (temporary) problems with my kidneys—I would say that a short burst of Psorigon was well worth the effort. Over three weeks the total amount that I needed to use was about two teaspoons. I also use a coal tar shampoo followed by a final wash with TeaTree shampoo and have found that very helpful in controlling the scalp lesions and itch.

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Ed's Response: Obviously, the jury is still out on exactly what's up with Psorigon/PS 98. However, shades of the Skin Cap debacle loom large. I shake my head. What kind of pharmaceutical company could be so stupid or greedy? Or so slipshod, if management really was unaware prescriptions drugs were in the OTC formula? I have not read how the Skin Cap ordeal turned out, but rather suppose its manufacturer is laughing all the way to the bank. Can it be these international companies get away with major trans-border dumps of their illegal drugs knowing it is highly unlikely they can be punished by other governments? How much of their poison can they sell—how much money can they bank—before they are "pulled from the shelves" in another country?

We can and must make this practice, real or potential, unprofitable and this is how we do it, by free and open global communication. Folks, if you try something sold over-the-counter that "works miraculously," get on the web and ASK QUESTIONS. Go to the news group (alt.support.skin-diseases.psoriasis), come here (FLAKE HQ), e-mail the National Psoriasis Foundation (psoriasis.org), and notify all the other sites about psoriasis you visit. Working together, we can stop this before the manufacturers make enough money not to care. -Ed

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