American Mandrake, Citron Sauvage, Citronnier, Devil's Apple, Duck's Foot, Ground Lemon, Himalayan Mayapple, Hog Apple, Indian Apple, Indian Podophyllum, Ipécacuanha de la Caroline, Mandrake, Mayapple, Pa Giao Lian, Pied de Canard, Podófilo, Podophyllin, Podophyll Pelati Rhizoma/Resina, Podophylle, Podophylle en Bouclier, Podophylle à Feuilles Peltées, Podophylle Indien, Podophylle Pelté, Podophyllum emodi, Podophyllum hexandrum, Podophyllum peltatum, Pomme de Mai, Raccoon Berry, Sinopodophyllum emodi, Umbrella Plant, Vegetable Calomel, Vegetable Mercury, Wild Lemon, Wild Mandrake.
Overview InformationPodophyllum is a plant. The root and underground stem (rhizome) are used to make medicine.
Podophyllum is poisonous when taken by mouth. Despite this, some people take it orally for yellowed skin (jaundice), liver ailments, fever, syphilis, hearing loss, and cancer. Podophyllum is also used to empty the bowels, kill parasitic worms in the intestine, and counteract snakebites. Some women take it to cause an abortion.
Podophyllum has been used as a laxative. But it has been removed from the market due to safety concerns.
Podophyllum is applied directly to the skin for removal of warts, including plantar warts and genital warts. It is also used topically for white patches on the tongue in people with weakened immune systems (hairy leukoplakia) and for corns.
How does it work?Podophyllum can stop cell duplication and new growth. It can also have laxative effects.
Uses & Effectiveness
Likely Effective for
- Genital warts. Applying podophyllum resin, also called podophyllin, as a 10% to 25% suspension or as a 2% to 4% gel, is effective for removing genital warts. Podophyllum seems to work just as well as other treatments, such as cryotherapy (freezing) or a medicine called imiquimod. But podophyllotoxin (podofilox, Condylox), a chemical found in podophyllum that is also an FDA-approved drug, is usually used instead. It is less toxic and seems to work better than other treatments.
Insufficient Evidence for
- Corns. Early research suggests that applying a specific product (Canthacur PS) containing cantharidin, salicylic acid, and 5% podophyllum resin after corn removal can help to clear corns without scarring.
- White patches on the tongue in people with weakened immune systems (hairy leukoplakia). Early research suggests that a single application of 25% podophyllum resin in tincture of benzoin to the affected area can help heal wounds caused by hairy leukoplakia. Other research shows that adding acyclovir cream to 25% podophyllum resin is more effective than the resin alone.
- Liver problems.
- Other conditions.
Side Effects & SafetyWhen taken by mouth: Podophyllum is poisonous and is LIKELY UNSAFE when taken by mouth. It may cause nausea, vomiting, dizziness, headache, spasms, fever, visual changes and hallucinations, low blood pressure, bone marrow problems, paralysis, coma, liver problems, kidney problems, and death. It can take up to 13 hours for symptoms of poisoning to appear.
When applied to the skin: When applied by medical professionals in small amounts to unbroken skin, podophyllum is POSSIBLY SAFE for most people. It should be washed off within 4 to 6 hours.
Podophyllum is poisonous and LIKELY UNSAFE when applied to the skin in higher concentrations over large areas of the body. It may cause nausea, vomiting, dizziness, headache, spasms, fever, visual changes and hallucinations, low blood pressure, bone marrow problems, paralysis, coma, liver problems, kidney problems, and death. It can take up to 13 hours for symptoms of poisoning to appear.
Podophyllotoxin, a chemical found in podophyllum, is safer and has largely replaced podophyllum as a treatment.
Special Precautions & Warnings:Pregnancy and breast-feeding:It is LIKELY UNSAFE to take podophyllum by mouth or apply it to your skin if you are pregnant. There have been reports of death and multiple birth defects in babies whose mothers used podophyllum during pregnancy.
It is also LIKELY UNSAFE to use podophyllum if you are breast-feeding. The poisons in podophyllum can endanger you and your nursing baby.
We currently have no information for PODOPHYLLUM Interactions.
The following doses have been studied in scientific research:
APPLIED TO THE SKIN:
- Podophyllum should not be used for self-treatment. Covering too much skin with podophyllum or applying it to broken skin increases the chance of getting poisoned. It's safer to use podophyllotoxin, which is an FDA-approved drug.
- For genital warts: A 0.5% podophyllotoxin gel is applied twice daily for three days in a row and repeated for two to four cycles. Podophyllotoxin is a chemical taken from podophyllum. Podophyllotoxin (podofilox, Condylox) is an FDA-approved drug. Podophyllotoxin might be more effective than podophyllum and is less toxic.
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