The approval of ingenol mebutate gel presents and easy-to-use option to treat actinic keratoses (AKs), but the flexibility in dosing of a treatment like imiquimod will ensure its place in the armamentarium of AK treatments, according to the professor and chairman of the department of dermatology, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York.
"There is a big need for a drug that works quickly," says Mark Lebwohl, M.D., who has conducted studies on ingenol mebutate gel (0.015 percent for face and scalp; 0.05 percent for trunk and extremities), which is known by the brand name Picato (LEO Pharma). "All of the drugs are either very irritating or somewhat irritating, and they have to be used for a longer period of time. Most patients want to get treatment over with quickly rather than slowly."
The therapy is derived from the active ingredient in the sap of the plant Euphorbia peplus, regarded as a traditional remedy for common skin lesions.