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NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - A botanical ointment containing sinecatechins, a green tea extract, is an effective and well tolerated treatment for external genital and anal warts, results of a controlled study confirm.
"Green tea catechins exert multiple biologic activities, involving potent antiviral and antioxidant activity," Dr. Silvio Tatti, now at the Hospital Clinicas, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina, and colleagues note in the journal Obstetrics and Gynecology.
Given that genital and anal warts are caused by human papillomavirus (HPV) and that effective, well tolerated treatments are lacking, there has been interest in treatment with sinecatechins ointments.
In their study, Tatti's team randomly assigned 502 adults with 2 to 30 warts to either sinecatechins ointment (15% or 10%) or inactive ointment for up to 16 weeks or until the warts cleared.
In both sinecatechins groups, warts cleared completely in roughly 57% of patients compared to just 34% of subjects in the control group - a significant difference.
Clearance rates of at least 50% were seen in roughly three-quarters of patients who applied sinecatechins ointment compared with 51% of those who applied the inactive ointment.
Most side effects reported with sinecatechins ointment were mild to moderate skin and application site reactions.
The results support the use of sinecatechins ointment for external warts, Tatti and colleagues conclude. Sinecatechins ointment, sold as Veregen, is approved for the topical treatment of genital warts and perianal warts in health people aged 18 and older.
SOURCE: Obstetrics and Gynecology, June 2008.