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Sex Transm Dis. 2001 Apr;28(4):226-31.

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.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, USA.



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.


This study was undertaken to determine whether more frequent application of topical imiquimod cream would improve the rate of genital wart clearance in men.


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.


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.


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.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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