Treatment of external genital warts in men using 5% imiquimod cream applied three times a week, once daily, twice daily, or three times a day

Kenneth H. Fife, Alex Ferenczy, John M. Douglas, Darron R. Brown, Michael Smith, Mary L. Owens, Karl Beutner, Donald Poretz, Richard Reichman, Malcom Sperling, Spotswood Spruance

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

63 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Medical therapy for genital warts remains suboptimal. The topical interferon and cytokine inducer, imiquimod, has been proved effective for the treatment of external genital and perianal warts, but there is a substantial difference in the response rates between men and women. When 5% imiquimod cream is applied three times a week up to 16 weeks, approximately two thirds of women treated with imiquimod achieve complete clearance of genital warts, whereas only about one third of men clear completely. Goal: This study was undertaken to determine whether more frequent application of topical imiquimod cream would improve the rate of genital wart clearance in men. Study Design: A randomized treatment trial involving adult men with biopsy-proven genital warts was conducted at nine centers in the United States and Canada using four different application frequencies. Results: Complete clearance rates during the 16-week treatment period were as follows for the different imiquimod treatment frequencies: three times a week (35%), once daily (28%), twice daily (24%), and three times a day (27%)(P = 0.88). The four treatment groups all showed comparable reductions in the total lesion area, with a median of more than a 90% reduction in the lesion area by the end of treatment. There was a significant increase in the incidence and severity of local skin reactions including erythema, vesicle formation, ulceration, and excoriation as the dosing frequency increased from three times a week to three times a day. Conclusion: In this study, the optimal dosage regimen was the approved three times a week regimen. More frequent application (up to three times a day) did not improve clearance and was associated with an increase in local adverse events.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)226-231
Number of pages6
JournalSexually transmitted diseases
Volume28
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases

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