Genital WartsPolyphenon E

Polyphenon E Ointment treats external genital warts

The active substance in Polyphenon E Ointment is a green tea extract containing catechin — an antioxidant. A company called MediGene developed this drug to treat various skin tumors.

This study looks at the effect of Polyphenon E on the common sexually transmitted disease caused by Condylomata acuminata — venereal warts.

First, the details.

  • 242 patients in Germany and Russia with 2 to 30 warts were assigned to one of 3 treatments applied 3 times a day for 12 weeks.
  • Polyphenon E 10% Cream
  • Polyphenon E 15% Ointment
  • Placebo

And, the results.

  • Results with the 15% ointment were significantly better than placebo regarding complete clearance of external genital warts (61% vs 41% in males, 57% vs 34% in females).
  • For the 10% cream, 54% of men and 40% of women achieved complete clearance.
  • Recurrence of the warts at 12 weeks following treatment were similar: 11%, 12% and 10% for 15% ointment, 10% cream, and placebo, respectively.
  • Side effects were observed in 8% of patients, with no serious events or deaths reported.
  • Local skin reactions were generally mild to moderate and resolved with continued treatment.

The bottom line?
The authors conclude, “Polyphenon E 15% ointment ? proved to be efficacious and safe for both genders in the treatment of external genital warts.”

Last year, the FDA approved Polyphenon E, 15% ointment to treat external genital and perianal warts caused by certain strains of human papillomavirus (HPV). It was expected to be available through Bradley Pharmaceuticals during the second half of 2007. I can’t find any evidence that this has occurred.

11/22/07 16:00 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.