Condyloma eradication: self-therapy with 0.15-0.5% podophyllotoxin versus 20-25% podophyllin preparations--an integrated safety assessment

Regul Toxicol Pharmacol. 2001 Apr;33(2):117-37. doi: 10.1006/rtph.2000.1446.


Topical application of podophyllin solution, long considered the therapy of first choice against condylomata acuminata, can no longer be recommended due to its low efficacy and gross toxicity. Self-treatment with 0.15-0.5% purified podophyllotoxin preparations, applied twice daily for 3 days, is now advocated as the alternative first-line therapy of choice, when significant improvement is conveniently, and cost-effectively, accomplished within a few weeks. This review provides a summary of the comparative efficacy and utility of podophyllin versus podophyllotoxin as well as a compilation of in vivo and in vitro safety evaluations. In light of overwhelming safety and efficacy data in favor of podophyllotoxin-derived products, it is concluded that podophyllin preparations have no place in the modern treatment portfolio for anogenital warts.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Topical
  • Animals
  • Cats
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Condylomata Acuminata / drug therapy*
  • Condylomata Acuminata / epidemiology
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Guinea Pigs
  • Humans
  • Keratolytic Agents / administration & dosage
  • Keratolytic Agents / toxicity*
  • Mice
  • Mutagenicity Tests
  • Podophyllin / administration & dosage
  • Podophyllin / toxicity*
  • Podophyllotoxin / administration & dosage
  • Podophyllotoxin / toxicity*
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Rabbits
  • Rats
  • Reproduction / drug effects
  • Toxicity Tests


  • Keratolytic Agents
  • Podophyllin
  • Podophyllotoxin