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New Treatment for Common Warts

Recent research has developed an effective treatment for common warts. A study recently published in the Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology found that a combination of two compounds achieved a significant wart reduction within seven days.

DNA viruses such as HPV rely on K+ influx for replication. Both digoxin and furosemide inhibit the K+ influx by interacting with cell membrane ion co-transporters. Researchers hypothesised that these two compounds in a topical formulation may treat HPV-induced warts. They dubbed this approach Ionic Contra-Viral Therapy.

The study enlisted 12 patients with at least four common warts on their hands. They were treated with a fixed dose of 980mg topical gel for seven consecutive days on their lower back to assess safety and systemic exposure. Two warts were treated with 10mg each and two warts served as negative controls.

Ionic Contra-Viral Therapy was well tolerated topically, and there was no evidence of systemic exposure of digoxin or furosemide. There were no serious adverse events. A rapid and statistically significant reduction in diameter, height and volume of the warts was observed after 14 days.

Ionic Contra-Viral Therapy was found to be safe for administration to humans and seven days of active treatment showed a statistical significant wart reduction compared to untreated control lesions, clearly indicating pharmacological activity.

Read more about new treatments for other common conditions in primary care.


van der Kolk, T. et al. (September 6, 2017.) Topical ionic contra-viral therapy comprised of digoxin and furosemide as a potential novel treatment approach for common warts. Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology. DOI: 10.1111/jdv.14527.

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