HomeDrug ClassesFolate Analogue / Vitamin D Analogues

Folate Analogue / Vitamin D Analogues: Uses, Common Brands, and Safety Info

"Folate Analogue / Vitamin D Analogues: A description of two drug classes used in the treatment of various conditions. Folate analogues mimic or interfere with natural folate for cancer treatment, while vitamin D analogues act on the vitamin D receptor for skin conditions and hyperparathyroidism. Methotrexate and pemetrexed are common folate analogues, while calcipotriene and calcitriol are common vitamin D analogues. Side effects and contraindic

Folate Analogue / Vitamin D Analogues

Folate analogue and vitamin D analogues are two distinct drug classes, but they are grouped together for the purpose of this description due to their shared use in the treatment of certain conditions. These medications are synthetic forms of natural substances that play important roles in various physiological processes in the body.


Folate Analogue: Folate analogues, also known as folic acid analogues or folate antagonists, are drugs that mimic or interfere with the actions of naturally occurring folate, a B-vitamin crucial for DNA synthesis and cellular division. Folate analogues are primarily used in the management of certain types of cancers, including acute lymphoblastic leukemia, colorectal cancer, and trophoblastic neoplasms. These medications work by inhibiting the activity of enzymes that utilize folate, which, in turn, blocks DNA synthesis and inhibits cancer cell growth. Some common examples of folate analogues include methotrexate and pemetrexed.

Vitamin D Analogues: Vitamin D analogues, also known as calcitriol or vitamin D receptor agonists, are synthetic versions of vitamin D, a fat-soluble vitamin essential for calcium and phosphate homeostasis. Vitamin D analogues act upon the vitamin D receptor, influencing gene expression and cellular processes. They are primarily used in the treatment of various skin conditions, such as psoriasis and vitiligo, as well as in the management of secondary hyperparathyroidism associated with chronic kidney disease. Some common examples of vitamin D analogues include calcipotriene and calcitriol.

Common Brands

Folate Analogue: Some commonly prescribed brands of folate analogues include:

  • Methotrexate (brand names: Rheumatrex, Trexall)

  • Pemetrexed (brand name: Alimta)

Vitamin D Analogues: Some commonly prescribed brands of vitamin D analogues include:

  • Calcipotriene (brand names: Dovonex, Sorilux)

  • Calcitriol (brand name: Rocaltrol)


As with any medications, both folate analogues and vitamin D analogues have potential side effects and contraindications that need to be considered:

Folate Analogue: Common side effects of folate analogues may include nausea, vomiting, mucositis, bone marrow suppression, and liver toxicity. Patients taking folate analogues should be closely monitored for signs of toxicity or adverse effects. These medications are contraindicated in individuals with a known hypersensitivity to the drug or its components, severe liver disease, or active infections.

Vitamin D Analogues: Common side effects of vitamin D analogues may include skin irritation, dryness, redness, or itching at the application site. Overuse or improper application of these medications can cause hypercalcemia, a condition characterized by elevated levels of calcium in the blood. Use of vitamin D analogues should be avoided in patients with known hypersensitivity to the drug or its components. Additionally, caution is advised in patients with hypercalcemia, as these medications can further increase calcium levels.

It is essential to consult a healthcare professional regarding the appropriate use, dosage, and potential risks associated with folate analogues and vitamin D analog

List of Folate Analogue / Vitamin D Analogues