Intralesional 5-fluorouracil, lidocaine and epinephrine mixture for the treatment of verrucae: a prospective placebo-controlled, single-blind randomized study

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Abstract

Background

The treatment of viral warts remains challenging. A variety of treatment modalities have been used with a range of success. Fluorouracil has been shown to be effective in treating warts but the method of its delivery directly onto the affected tissue has been of little efficacy. We evaluated the safety and efficacy of intralesional 5-fluorouracil in the treatment of verrucae.

Methods

Seventy-six patients with a total 315 verrucae were randomized to receive either a 5-fluorouracil, lidocaine and epinephrine (5-FU + LE) mixture or serum saline injection into the paired verrucae in the same patient. The mixture of 5-FU (4 cm3, 50 mg/mL), lidocaine (1 cm3, 20 mg/mL) and epinephrine (0.0125 mg/mL) was injected into the base of the wart using a mantoux needle. Each lesion was infiltrated with either of the solutions once a week for up to a maximum of 4 weeks, and the patients were followed up for 6 months.

Results

Complete response was noted in an average of 70% of the verrucae treated with the 5-FU + LE mixture and in 29% of those in the placebo group (P < 0.001). No clinically significant systemic and local adverse effects occurred. Pain and burning were noted as an immediate injection pain. Recurrence rates were evaluated and no statistically significant difference between the two groups was found.

Conclusions

The results demonstrate that treatment of verrucae with 5-FU + LE mixture is safe and effective.

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