Time-tested treatment option for genital wartsSelf-administered by patients
Podofilox is one of the best known types of treatment for HPV genital warts. It has been available on the market for decades.
Better known by its trade name, Condylox, the medication is available as a topical solution or gel. Podofilox contains a 0.5% solution of purified extract of podophyllin.
One of its major benefits is the fact that Podofilox can be applied by patients themselves. There is no need for a physician to administer the medication. Physician’s role is to prescribe the drug and follow disease progress during and after treatment.
How does it work?
Podofilox works by preventing growth of certain cells. It works directly on contact, for this reason (and the fact that it may cause erosions, burning and pain), podofilox should only be used on skin. Internal use, such as in the vagina or anus, should not be attempted.
Podofilox is applied twice daily for the first 3 days. Treatment should be discontinued on days 4-7. This 7 day cycle can be repeated for up to 4 times.
Never reuse the provided applicator or dip a used applicator into the medication bottle.
Wash your hands after the drug has been applied to the lesions.
In one small double-blind study evaluating the effectiveness of podofilox versus placebo, the results appear to be very promising, but only to certain extent.
Specifically, treatment with podofilox was associated with clearance of warts in 73% patients within 6 weeks of therapy. In comparison, clearance in the placebo group was only 8% (1).
Unfortunately, as is the case with most HPV treatment modalities, therapy with podofilox is associated with a recurrence rate of up to 34%. This finding, however, should not discourage patients from seeking medical help and starting treatment for their genital warts.
Not a cure…
Podofilox only treats genital warts. It does not cure HPV infection.
- As with other HPV medications, adverse effects may occur
- Burning at site of application of the drug
- Inflammation, skin redness
- Skin erosion
- Podofilox should not be used for the treatment of perianal, rectal, urethral or vaginal lesions
- Podofilox should not be used on patients under the age of 18 years.
- Use of this drug during pregnancy is contraindicated as it may damage the developing fetus.
- Avoid sexual activity until the warts have completely cleared
- Certain warts that do not regress after a proper treatment should be closely evaluated for cancerous changes.
- You may still pass your HPV infection to others even after all the warts have cleared.