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Warticon - Prescription Genital Warts Treatment
Warticon is a topical treatment prescribed for genital warts (chiefly small lumps) caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). Available as a topical cream or a solution, it is applied to the affected area (on or around the penis, or around the vagina). The active ingredient is a strong antiviral plant extract called podophyllotoxin, which attacks and eradicates the HPV causing the wart cells to die, allowing new healthy tissue to replace them within weeks.
Warticon is a potent topical application and is a prescription-only medicine (POM) in the UK. You can buy Warticon cream or solution from The Independent Pharmacy by completing a short online consultation for one of our expert medical team to ensure it is the most suitable treatment for you.
Warticon - Important Information
How Warticon works
Warticon is a topical treatment that is applied directly to genital warts on and around the genitals. Because genital warts are not only caused by the HPV but also kept alive by it, the active ingredient doesn't attack the wart tissue directly (which wouldn't ultimately prove effective) but instead attacks the HPV itself. With the virus unable to divide and spread, the symptoms subside and the warts die. Over time, the wart tissue falls away, and healthy tissue grows in its place.
Read more about genital warts symptoms here.
Choosing Warticon cream or solution
Warticon cream or solution is a suitable treatment option for confirmed genital warts that appear on the external skin of the penis, vagina, or surrounding area of the groin. Warticon is not licensed for the treatment of warts that appear around the anus.
The solution is more frequently recommended for men due to the nature and position of their genitals, with the cream more often recommended for women, but you may choose otherwise if you wish - there are no significant differences in cure rates between the two options - Warticon cream and solution are similarly effective.
Warticon cream is a white cream that soaks in on application. Warticon solution is a blue solution that may cause the area of application to become blue during treatment.
When you can expect results
If you follow the recommended course of treatment (two applications per day, 12 hours apart, for three consecutive days of each week), genital warts treated with Warticon should be fully eliminated within four to five weeks. If the warts have not cleared at this point, you should see your doctor or sexual health clinic for further treatment options, such as cryotherapy.
What Warticon includes
Depending on the formulation you select, Warticon is provided as a 5g tube of white cream or a 3ml container of blue solution. The solution can be slightly more challenging to apply and thus requires the use of a small applicator which is included with the treatment. Only a very small amount of treatment is required because of the potency and the limited area of treatment (individual warts or small wart clusters) - one box of either type is enough for four weeks of treatment.
The medicine will contain a patient information leaflet (PIL) confirming the application instructions and diagrams for the treatment, so be sure to consult it if you're unsure exactly how you're supposed to be using the medicine. Additionally, keep it with or around the tube or container so it's readily available in the unlikely event of a medical emergency.
Upon receipt of the product, adhere to standard medical storage practice: keep it away from direct heat and light (a dry, cool area is ideal), and ensure that it is inaccessible to children. There are otherwise no special storage conditions for either formulation.
About the supply chain
Warticon is a registered trademark of Stiefel Laboratories, owned by GlaxoSmithKline.
The cream formulation of Warticon is manufactured by Stiefel directly from premises in Ireland, while the solution formulation is manufactured on behalf of Stiefel by Famar from a production facility in the Netherlands.
Alternatives to Warticon
Other topical genital warts treatments and creams include Aldara, Condyline, and Wartec. Condyline also contains podophyllotoxin and is an equivalent treatment to Warticon solution. Aldara contains imiquimod, a drug that stimulates the immune system to fight HPV and therefore destroy genital warts. Aldara has is a more expensive treatment option, however, warts treated with Aldara are less likely to return than those treated with Warticon or Condyline.
Aside from topical treatments, you can also seek physical removal of the warts through surgery (burning them away or slicing them off using a blade or a laser) or freezing (killing the tissue so it eventually falls off). This may be necessary if you have a large number of warts, topical treatment is not suitable or it has not been effective. Your GP or sexual health clinic can advise you if this is the case.
Warticon is not a suitable treatment for you if:
- You are allergic to podophyllotoxin or any of the other ingredients
- The skin around or covering your wart (or warts) is damaged, broken or bleeding
- You have warts covering an area greater than 4cm squared (around the size of a postage stamp)
- You are pregnant or breastfeeding
While using Warticon, be sure to avoid the following:
- Using the application on healthy skin
- Getting the application in your eyes or mouth
- Using the application on the inside of the vagina, penis or rectum
- Covering any treated areas with plasters or dressings
To ensure maximum effectiveness, Warticon must be applied in treatment cycles. When your course of treatment commences, you’ll need to apply it twice each day (with a 12-hour gap between the applications) for three consecutive days, then cease treatment for the following four days. That 7-day period (three days of treatment followed by four days of rest) constitutes one cycle - you may safely use Warticon for four to five consecutive cycles if needed.
Whilst using Warticon, you should avoid sex where possible to reduce the chances of the HPV virus spreading. As genital warts often appear on the skin surrounding the genitals, as well as on the genitals, the HPV virus can often spead even if a condom is used. If you do have sex when you have genital warts, you should use non-latex condoms to try and prevent the spread of HPV and to reduce the chances of passing the treatment on to your partner, which may cause irritation.
Never apply Warticon to broken, raw, or bleeding skin and ensure you only apply treatment directly to genital warts - avoid the healthy skin surrounding them.
How to apply Warticon Cream
- Wash all affected areas with soap and water, then dry them with a clean towel.
- Using a fingertip, apply just enough cream to cover each wart.
- Rub the cream in, carefully avoiding contact with healthy skin (wash away any excess).
- Wash your hands thoroughly.
How to apply Warticon Solution
- Wash all affected areas with soap and water, then dry them with a clean towel.
- Use a fresh applicator.
- Dip the ‘Loop’ end of the applicator into the solution. If you have a large wart (up to the size of a postage stamp) or lots of warts in a small area, dip the ‘Spatula’ end of the applicator into the solution.
- Apply the solution to each wart until it is covered, carefully avoiding contact with healthy skin (wash away any excess).
- Allow the treated areas to fully dry.
- Make sure you screw the lid back on tightly.
- Wash your hands thoroughly.
As ever, you can consult the patient information leaflets for assistance - they will contain informative diagrams that may help you during the application.
Warticon cream contains the active ingredient of podophyllotoxin in a 0.15% concentration (0.15mg of podophyllotoxin per gram of cream). The following ingredients make up the rest:
- Purified water, methyl parahydroxybenzoate (E218), propylparahydroxybenzoate (E216), sorbic acid, phosphoric acid, stearyl alcohol, cetyl alcohol, isopropyl myristate, liquid paraffin, trigylcerides - medium chain, butyl hydroxyanisole (E320), macrogol - 7 stearyl ether, macrogol - 10 stearyl ether.
Warticon solution consists of a 0.5% concentration of podophyllotoxin in an alcoholic base.
Warticon side effects
Warticon has been known to cause localised side effects when applied. Through not particularly common, they can include:
- Worn-away skin layers
- A burning sensation
Those side effects are no cause for concern and can simply be endured while continuing treatment. If you experience any of the following side effects, however, you should immediately stop your course of treatment and consult your doctor:
- A severe burning sensation
Warticon is provided with a comprehensive patient information leaflet that details all known side effects, so if you experience a problem we haven't mentioned, be sure to check your leaflet for additional context and information before contacting your doctor.
Warticon Cream & Solution reviews
Warticon Cream & Solution FAQs
Yes, Warticon can cause irritation in the treated area, most commonly when used for the first time. It is not typically serious and should quickly subside. Should your symptoms become more severe, you should immediately consult your doctor.
No, you should only use one treatment for genital warts at a time. Furthermore, do not apply generic wart treatments to genital warts, regardless of the circumstances — they’re likely to aggravate the skin and may even leave scars after use.
Warticon does not weaken latex condoms or affect the contraceptive pill in any way, but it’s immaterial because you should refrain from having sex while treating genital warts. Not only does the affected area need to heal, but it’s simply not worth the risk of viral transmission.
No. Even condoms are only around 70% effective at preventing the spread of HPV, plus you can infect someone from the skin around your genitals — a particularly significant risk when that skin is damaged. Even if your warts are gone, you may still be infected. Confirm that you are virus-free before you resume sexual activity.
No, drinking alcohol will not affect Warticon. Your immune system plays an important role in fighting the HPV infection, though, and excessive alcohol consumption can lower your immune system, making your genital warts much harder to eradicate.
If Warticon doesn't work, you can try other treatments such as Aldara, which contains Imiquimod and stimulates your immune system to help fight the HPV infection. Alternatively, your GP or local sexual health clinic can offer treatments such as cryotherapy (freezing) or excision (cutting the warts off) if necessary.
It’s possible to have multiple bouts of genital warts in your life, whether resulting from the same infection or multiple infections, so it’s essentially impossible to say that you’ll never get warts again. That said, if you complete your course of treatment and successfully deal with the HPV, you should be safe for the time being — and if warts do eventually reappear, you can of course use Warticon as an effective treatment once again.
Yes, Warticon should only be used to treat external genital warts, and is only licensed for that use. Furthermore, it should not be used to treat anal warts — Aldara cream is licensed for that issue and should be used instead. If you are suffering with internal genital warts, or anal warts, you’ll need a medical consultation to confirm the best treatment.
While it can cause some discomfort, Warticon should not make your warts worse. As it attacks the warts, they can start looking like blisters, but this is purely a visual resemblance and is no cause for concern. If you have any adverse swelling or suffer an unexpected skin reaction, inform your doctor immediately.
During the course of treatment, Warticon’s reaction with your warts may cause them to turn pale or even white before they peel away and leave healthy skin. This is no cause for concern.
No, Warticon is specifically designed to treat genital warts. There are other wart treatments designed for other areas of the body — a medical consultation can provide further information.
It can, but doesn’t always — it largely depends on the severity of the treated warts. If you treat very severe warts, you may be left with small white marks in the area following conclusion of your treatment, but rest assured that the scarring is much worse when warts are left untreated.
There is limited data to suggest that Warticon can be safely used while pregnant or breastfeeding, so we recommend that you do not use it in such circumstances.
Read more about genital warts and pregnancy here.
No, verrucas and warts are entirely different types of skin growth. You’ll need to seek out a dedicated verruca treatment.
No. Additionally, this condition can usually be left to heal on its own. If it doesn’t, it’s best to consult a doctor to identify next steps.
If you’ve selected the Warticon solution, then yes — it is intended to be blue, and can thus cause some temporary staining in the treated skin. If you’ve selected the cream, then no — it is intended to be white, and leaves no staining once absorbed by the skin.