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Author: Anoma Ranaweera B.V. Sc; PhD (Clinical Biochemistry, University of Liverpool, UK), 2012.
Catechins are chemical substances that occur naturally in green tea leaves. They have been studied in many areas of medicine and have been found to offer several therapeutic benefits. Researchers have noted their significant antioxidative, antiviral and immune-stimulatory properties.
Sinecatechins 15% ointment, trade name Veregen®, is a botanical drug product for topical use in patients with genital and perianal warts. It was approved for prescription use in the United States in 2006, and is indicated for the treatment of external genital and perianal warts (condylomata acuminata) in immunocompetent patients 18 years and older. Sinecatechins ointment is marketed in Spain, France, Austria and Serbia but is not yet available in New Zealand (August 2012).
The active ingredient is a partially purified fraction of the water extract of green tea leaves from Camellia sinensis (L.) O Kuntze, and consists of a mixture of catechins and other green tea components. Veregen® is a registered trademark of MediGene AG, a pharmaceutical company in Germany. Veregen® is distributed in USA by PharmaDerm, A division of Fougera Pharmaceuticals Inc., Melville, New York.
It is unclear exactly how sinecatechins clear genital and anal warts. However, studies have shown that green tea extracts have antioxidative and antiviral properties and stimulate the immune system.
The most common side effects with sinecatechins ointment are local skin and application site reactions including:
Two randomized, double-blind, vehicle-controlled studies involving 600 patients have investigated the safety and efficacy of sinecatechins ointment in the treatment of immunocompetent patients 18 years of age and older, with external genital and perianal warts.
In the two clinical studies, 53.6% who applied sinecatechins ointment 3 times a day for up to 16 weeks showed complete clearance of external genital and anal warts. In these studies, treatment continued for 16 weeks or less, depending on how quickly the warts cleared.
In the clinical studies described above, patients who used sinecatechins ointment and had complete clearance of warts were re-checked 12 weeks after their treatment ended. More than 90% of these people had no recurrence of warts at that point in time.
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