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Hydrogen Peroxide 3% Solution as Treatment for Molluscum Contagiosum: A Pilot Study

PHRR200110-002396

Hydrogen Peroxide 3% Solution as Treatment for Molluscum Contagiosum: A Pilot Study

Molluscum contagiosum is a common viral skin infection especially in children. Based on the most recent evidence review, there is no single treatment superior among all available accepted modalities in addressing molluscum contagiosum. Topical hydrogen peroxide has shown some promising results in preliminary reports and studies. The study aims to determine the efficacy, tolerability, and safety of hydrogen peroxide 3% solution as an alternative topical treatment for cutaneous non-sexually transmitted molluscum contagiosum in children.

A prospective open-label study was conducted on children aged 2 years and above, and adults aged 18-65 years old, with clinically diagnosed non-genital molluscum contagiosum. A minimum of 12 patients were enrolled to apply hydrogen 3% solution twice daily with tape occlusion over molluscum lesions, for three weeks. Lesional counts, tolerability and other adverse effects were evaluated at baseline and every week. Treatment outcomes were evaluated after 3 weeks. Residual lesions at the end of the study were treated with manual curettage or other modalities.

A total of 21 patients were recruited with 6 drop-outs. 15 patients were evaluated for the study: 5 males and 10 females, with 2 adult and 13 children participants, with a mean age of 9.27 ± 7.22 years (range: 2 – 30 years). None of the 15 patients achieved complete resolution of lesions; 8 patients (53.3%) achieved only partial resolution (decreased counts, but with at least one residual lesion) and 7 patients (46.6%) were considered treatment failures (no change from baseline or increased lesions). The most common adverse events among all 21 enrolled patients were erythema and pruritus in 10 cases (47.62%) and stinging or burning sensation in 9 cases (42.86%). Other significant adverse events noted were one case of molluscum dermatitis and 2 cases of impetiginization.

Regime Classification Priority
2017 - 2022 Global competitiveness and innovation in health Drug discovery and development
Start Date Duration in Months Target Completion Date Actual Completion Date
2019-04-22 8 2019-12-22 2019-12-22

Completed

Institution Classification Region LTO #
University of the Philippines - Philippine General Hospital, Department of Medicine, Division of Dermatology Government NCR
Institution Region
University of the Philippines - Philippine General Hospital, Department of Medicine, Division of Dermatology NCR
Name E-Mail Institution and Institution Address
Jay-V James G. Barit jgbarit@up.edu.ph Division of Dermatology, 1P23, Department of Outpatient Services, Philippine General Hospital, Manila 1000
Name E-Mail Institution and Institution Address
Jay-V James G. Barit jgbarit@up.edu.ph Division of Dermatology, 1P23, Department of Outpatient Services, Philippine General Hospital, Manila 1000
Name Expertise Affiliation
Jay-V James G. Barit, MD Dermatology University of the Philippines - Philippine General Hospital, Department of Medicine, Division of Dermatology
Ma. Lorna F. Frez, MD, FPDS Dermatology University of the Philippines - Philippine General Hospital, Department of Medicine, Division of Dermatology
Nicole Marella G. Tan, MD Dermatology University of the Philippines - Philippine General Hospital, Department of Medicine, Division of Dermatology
Sarah Faye V. Obbus, MD Dermatology University of the Philippines - Philippine General Hospital, Department of Medicine, Division of Dermatology
Val Constantine S. Cua, MD Dermatology University of the Philippines - Philippine General Hospital, Department of Medicine, Division of Dermatology

Priorities in selecting treatment of molluscum contagiosum, especially in children, should be to avoid pain and minimize the risk of scarring. Hence, physical modalities are usually avoided, especially if lesions are numerous. Other topical agents are costlier (e.g. imiquimod, potassium hydroxide solution) or are not locally available (e.g. cantharidin). Currently there is no existing hydrogen peroxide cream or gel in the Philippine market. Hydrogen peroxide 3% solution, however, is widely available and is inexpensive, costing less than 30 Philippine pesos in the market. Hydrogen peroxide 3% solution may represent a cheap, widely available alternative treatment for molluscum contagiosum, especially for young children wherein painful treatments can be avoided, if shown to have efficacy against molluscum contagiosum lesions and if with very little adverse effects.

The primary objective of this study is to determine the efficacy, tolerability, and safety of hydrogen peroxide 3% solution as an alternative treatment for cutaneous non-sexually transmitted molluscum contagiosum in children.

The specific objectives of the study include:

  1. To determine the changes in lesional count per patient and the overall lesional count change of all total lesions in the study;
  2. To determine the tolerability and any other adverse effects of hydrogen peroxide 3% solution, and;
  3. To determine overall treatment outcome with the use of hydrogen peroxide 3% solution.

A demographic profile comprised of the patients’ age and sex were obtained. Baseline number of lesions, affected body regions, and the lesional counts at 1, 2 and 3 weeks were tabulated. Total lesional counts were derived from the sum of all initial lesions from recruited patients, and after 3 weeks, the total lesional count were recounted, and reduction or increase of lesions were shown as absolute numbers and percentages. Tolerability scores and other notable adverse effects were collated and expressed as frequencies.

Treatment outcomes were defined as follows:

  • Complete resolution: All (100%) lesions are resolved up to 3 weeks after treatment
  • Partial resolution: At least one residual lesion is present after 3 weeks of treatment
  • Treatment failure: Increase of at least one lesion from the baseline lesional count after 3 weeks of treatment; or no lesions resolved but no change in lesional count

Completed

  • Philippines

Non-clinical Studies

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