Congenital Erythropoietic Porphyria Medication

Updated: May 24, 2018
  • Author: Jeanette L Hebel, MD; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
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Medication Summary

The goals of pharmacotherapy are to reduce morbidity and prevent complications.


Oral photoprotectants

Class Summary

Oral photoprotectants may prevent tissue damage due to light exposure, possibly by forming an internal light screen.

Beta carotene (Lumitene)

The exact mechanism of action is not completely elucidated. The patient must become carotenemic before effects are observed. More than one internal light screen may be responsible for effects. This agent may provide a limited level of photoprotection. It causes yellowing of skin (carotenoderma). Any photoprotection afforded increases slowly over a 4- to 6-week period after drug therapy is commenced. When discontinued, skin color and benefit diminish over several weeks.