cantharidin topical (Pending FDA Approval)

Brand and Other Names:Ycanth
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Dosing & Uses

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Molluscum Contagiosum

Pending FDA approval for topical treatment of molluscum contagiosum

Molluscum Contagiosum

Pending FDA approval for topical treatment of molluscum contagiosum

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Pharmacology

Mechanism of Action

Cantharidin is absorbed by lipids in the membrane of epidermal keratinocytes, where it activates the release of neutral serine proteases

These enzymes subsequently break the peptide bonds in surrounding proteins, leading to progressive degeneration of desmosomal dense plaques, which are important cellular structures that participate in cell-to-cell adhesion

The degeneration results in detachment of the tonofilaments that hold cells together, thereby leading to selective acantholysis (loss of cellular connections) and blistering of the skin when the cantharidin topical application is applied

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Medscape prescription drug monographs are based on FDA-approved labeling information, unless otherwise noted, combined with additional data derived from primary medical literature.