Drugs Home > Ingenol Mebutate

A healthcare provider may prescribe ingenol mebutate to people who have actinic keratosis. This condition causes dry, scaly precancerous patches on the skin. Ingenol mebutate is applied on the affected areas of the skin once daily for two or three days, depending on whether it is being used on the face, scalp, or body. Skin reactions like scaling and redness are common side effects.

What Is Ingenol Mebutate?

Ingenol mebutate (Picato®) is a prescription medication approved to treat actinic keratosis (AK). Actinic keratoses are dry, scaly precancerous patches on the skin. This medication can be used to treat actinic keratosis on almost all areas of the body. Unlike most other actinic keratosis medications, ingenol mebutate is only used for a few days total, which may be a significant advantage because AK medications tend to cause skin reactions that make long-term use difficult or impractical.
(Click What Is Ingenol Mebutate Used For? for more information on this topic, including possible off-label uses.)

Are There Side Effects?

Just like any medicine, ingenol mebutate may cause side effects. However, not everyone who uses the drug will experience problems. In fact, most people tolerate it quite well.
If reactions do occur, in most cases, they are minor and either require no treatment or are treated easily by you or your healthcare provider. Serious side effects are less common. Although almost everyone who uses ingenol mebutate will experience some type of skin reaction, very severe skin reactions are less common.
In studies, some of the most common side effects of ingenol mebutate included:
  • Redness of the skin
  • Flaking and scaling
  • Crusting
  • Swelling.
(Click Ingenol Mebutate Side Effects to learn more, including potentially serious side effects you should report immediately to your healthcare provider.)
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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