Skip to main content

Ingenol Mebutate

Generic name: Ingenol Mebutate [ IN-je-nol-MEB-u-tate ]
Brand name: Picato
Drug class: Topical antineoplastics

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Feb 27, 2023.

Uses of Ingenol Mebutate:

What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take Ingenol Mebutate?

  • If you are allergic to ingenol mebutate; any part of ingenol mebutate; or any other drugs, foods, or substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had.
  • If your skin has not healed from other care or surgery.
  • If you are sunburned.

This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with ingenol mebutate.

Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take ingenol mebutate with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.

What are some things I need to know or do while I take Ingenol Mebutate?

  • Tell all of your health care providers that you take ingenol mebutate. This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
  • If you get ingenol mebutate in your eyes, it may cause eye problems like very bad eye pain, eyelid swelling or droop, or swelling around the eyes. Do not touch your eyes while using ingenol mebutate. If you get ingenol mebutate in your eyes, flush with water and call your doctor.
  • Do not use more than what your doctor told you to use. Do not use more often or longer than what you were told. Doing any of these things may raise the chance of very bad side effects.
  • Make sure sores near the area to be treated are healed before using ingenol mebutate.
  • Talk with your doctor before you use other drugs or products on your skin.
  • This medicine may cause harm if swallowed. If ingenol mebutate is swallowed, call a doctor or poison control center right away.
  • People using ingenol mebutate may have skin reactions where ingenol mebutate is used. These reactions may include change in skin color, crusting, flaking, redness, scaling, scarring, or swelling. If these reactions get very bad, a break from using ingenol mebutate may be needed as told by the doctor. Talk with the doctor.
  • Call your doctor right away if you have a skin reaction that bothers you or if the reaction makes it hard to keep putting ingenol mebutate on. Call your doctor right away if you have a skin reaction that causes problems with daily living.
  • Very bad skin reactions and eye injuries have happened when ingenol mebutate is not put on as told by the doctor. Talk with the doctor.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan on getting pregnant, or are breast-feeding. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks to you and the baby.

How is this medicine (Ingenol Mebutate) best taken?

Use ingenol mebutate as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.

  • Do not take ingenol mebutate by mouth. Use on your skin only. Keep out of your mouth, nose, and eyes (may burn).
  • Do not put in the vagina.
  • Do not put ingenol mebutate on the lips. Do not put near or around the eyes or mouth.
  • Wash your hands before and after use. Do not wash your hands after use if putting this on your hand.
  • Use a new tube of gel each time you use ingenol mebutate.
  • Do not put on right after taking a shower or less than 2 hours before bedtime.
  • Put a thin layer on the affected skin.
  • Put on affected part only.
  • Allow gel to dry for 15 minutes after using.
  • Do not touch the area where ingenol mebutate was put on the skin.
  • Leave on the skin for 6 hours, then wash off.
  • Do not bathe, shower, or swim for 6 hours after putting on.
  • Avoid actions that may cause sweating for 6 hours after the gel is put on your skin.
  • Do not cover with dressings.
  • This medicine has gotten in the eyes on accident even after hand washing. This includes when putting on make-up or putting in contact lenses. Do not put on make-up or put in contact lenses right after using ingenol mebutate. Use care to avoid getting ingenol mebutate in the eyes.
  • If you get ingenol mebutate in the eyes, flush right away with cool water and get medical help.
  • Do not get ingenol mebutate on other parts of your body or on other people.

What do I do if I miss a dose?

  • Put on a missed dose as soon as you think about it.
  • If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
  • Do not put on 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.

What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?

WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:

  • Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • Signs of a severe skin reaction (Stevens-Johnson syndrome) like red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin (with or without fever); red or irritated eyes; or sores in the mouth, throat, nose, or eyes.
  • Signs of skin infection like oozing, heat, swelling, redness, or pain.
  • Skin ulcers.
  • Skin breakdown where ingenol mebutate is used.
  • Dizziness or passing out.

What are some other side effects of Ingenol Mebutate?

All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:

These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.

You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-332-1088. You may also report side effects at

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.

How do I store and/or throw out Ingenol Mebutate?

  • Store in a refrigerator. Do not freeze.
  • Throw away any part not used after use.
  • Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Throw away unused or expired drugs. Do not flush down a toilet or pour down a drain unless you are told to do so. Check with your pharmacist if you have questions about the best way to throw out drugs. There may be drug take-back programs in your area.

Consumer Information Use and Disclaimer

  • If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
  • Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs.
  • Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. Check with your pharmacist. If you have any questions about ingenol mebutate, please talk with your doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.