Medical Treatment of Genital Warts

Genital warts can be treated but there is no permanent cure for the human papilloma virus (HPV virus). Even after treatment, recurrences are common. The majority of genital warts are treated by directing the therapy at the warts themselves.

None of the available treatment options are ideal or clearly superior to others.

Imiquimod (Aldara): Imiquimod is a prescription topical cream used to treat several skin disorders including genital warts. It is believed to act by stimulating the synthesis of chemicals which can increase the patient's immune response against these warts.

Imiquimod is applied as a thin layer of cream three times a week. Night time application is recommended. The cream is gently rubbed into the wart for a few minutes and left on for 8-10 hours. In the morning the cream should be thoroughly washed off. One should avoid sexual contact with the partner while the cream is on your skin. Imiquimod may damage the condom/diaphragm and may irritate your partner's skin.

Side effects include redness and irritation of the skin during treatment.

Podofilox (Condylox). Podofilox can also be used in the treatment of genital warts. The major problem with the use of this drug is that it must be correctly applied to the wart. The cream should be applied twice a day fro 3 days and then discontinued for the next 4 days. This one week cycle is repeated until there is no more wart tissue evident. The maximum number of cycles one can use the product is 4 cycles. If there is no response seen, the product should be discontinued. Additional applications only result in side effects and complications.

Condylox® Gel 0.5% should be applied to the warts with the applicator tip or finger. Before applying on the art, the surrounding normal skin should be covered with Vaseline or a moist gauze to minimize skin contact. The cream should be allowed to dry and then hands should be thoroughly washed

In most cases the physician will always demonstrate to you how to apply the cream. Podofilox is never to be placed inside the body, mouth, anus, vagina or nose

Trichloroacetic acid or TCA. In high concentration, this peeling agent has frequently been used to treat genital warts. The weaker strength TCA bought over the counter do not work. The higher strength TCA applications are only done in a physician's office. The application is done on a weekly basis for a month


5 FU: Sometimes 5-flurouracil epinephrine gel is injected directly into the lesions. In some cases, it has been shown to destroy the warts completely.

Interferon alpha, is a potent stimulant of the immune system and has also been used as an injection. The drug is injected directly into the wart. Treatment regimens involve injections of interferon into the lesion every other day over a period of 8 to 12 weeks. Not all individuals show a response.

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