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Ingenol topical

Generic Name: ingenol topical (IN je nol TOP i kal)
Brand Name: Picato

Medically reviewed by on Aug 28, 2018 – Written by Cerner Multum

What is ingenol topical?

Ingenol works by causing the death of certain cells in the body.

Ingenol topical (for the skin) is used to treat actinic keratosis (a condition caused by too much sun exposure).

Ingenol topical may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Important Information

Follow all directions on your medicine label and package. Tell each of your healthcare providers about all your medical conditions, allergies, and all medicines you use.

Before taking this medicine

You should not use ingenol topical if you are allergic to it.

It is not known whether ingenol topical will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

It is not known whether ingenol topical passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How should I use ingenol topical?

Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not use this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Use only enough of this medicine to cover the affected areas.

Using too much of this medicine, or using it for too long can increase your risk of severe skin reactions.

Do not take by mouth. Ingenol topical is for use only on the skin. Do not apply this medicine near your lips, mouth, or vagina.

Do not apply ingenol topical less than 2 hours before bedtime. Do not apply the medicine right after taking a shower.

Do not use on sunburned skin, or on areas of skin that are still healing after surgery or treatment with other medications. Wait until these conditions have healed before using ingenol topical.

For 0.015% gel: To treat actinic keratosis on the face and scalp, ingenol topical is usually applied once daily for 3 days in a row.

For 0.05% gel: To treat actinic keratosis on the arms and legs or trunk, ingenol topical is usually applied once daily for 2 days in a row.

Wash your hands with soap and water after applying ingenol topical.

Allow the skin to dry for at least 15 minutes after applying ingenol topical. Do not cover the treated skin with a bandage.

Avoid touching or washing the treated skin for 6 hours after applying ingenol topical. Avoid activities that may cause heavy sweating. After 6 hours have passed, you may wash the treated skin with a mild soap.

Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve, or if they get worse.

Each single use tube of this medicine is for one use only. Throw away after one use, even if there is still some medicine left in it after applying your dose.

Store this medicine in the refrigerator, do not freeze.

Read all patient information, medication guides, and instruction sheets provided to you. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Use the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

Overdose symptoms may include severe skin irritation.

What should I avoid while using ingenol topical?

Avoid letting treated skin areas come into contact with other people. Avoid touching a treated skin area and then touching your eyes.

If ingenol topical gets in your eyes, rinse them thoroughly with water and seek medical attention right away.

Ingenol topical side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; feeling light-headed; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Wash off the medicine and call your doctor at once if you have a serious skin reaction such as severe itching, burning, oozing, blisters, redness, swelling, or skin changes where the medicine was applied.

Stop using ingenol topical and call your doctor at once if you have:

  • severe eye pain or swelling;

  • puffy eyes; or

  • drooping eyelids.

Common side effects may include:

  • mild skin irritation, itching, dryness, flaking, or crusting of the skin where the medicine was applied;

  • headache; or

  • sore throat, sinus pain.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Ingenol topical dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for Keratosis:

Face and scalp: This drug should be applied to the affected area once a day for 3 consecutive days.
Trunk or extremities: This drug should be applied to the affected area once a day for 2 consecutive days.

-This drug may be applied to the affected area, up to one contiguous skin area of approximately 25 cm2 (e.g., 5 cm x 5 cm) using one unit dose tube.
-After spreading evenly over the treatment area, this drug should be allowed to dry for 15 minutes.
-Patients should wash their hands immediately after applying the drug and take care not to transfer the applied drug to other areas, including the eye.
-Patients should avoid washing and touching the treated area for a period of 6 hours after application. Following this time, patients may wash the area with a mild soap.
-This drug should not be applied orally, ophthalmically, or intravaginally.

Use: Inducer of cell death for the topical treatment of actinic keratosis

What other drugs will affect ingenol topical?

It is not likely that other drugs you take orally or inject will have an effect on topically applied ingenol. But many drugs can interact with each other. Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

Further information

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

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