Monday Pharmaceutical Mystery: June 3

Which oral medication is used to treat warts in children?

RC is a young girl, age 3 years, with asthma, gerd, chronic ear infections, and a skin condition called molluscum contagiosum—a fancy name for warts. Despite her health challenges, she’s well-nourished and average size, weighing 30 pounds (14kg).

RC’s mother comes into the pharmacy asking for a refill on a medication that treats the little girl's warts. She says she cannot pronounce the name of the drug but it is on file.

The list of drugs on file are:

  • Albuterol Nebulizer 2.5 mg q4h prn,
  • Montelukast 4mg phs
  • Cimetidine 400mg qd liquid,
  • Amoxicillin 125mg q8h x 10 days,

Mystery: Which drug, if any, can treat warts?

Solution: Oral cimetidine (Tagamet, Prestige) is known to stimulate T-lymphocyte populations, which are important in controlling viral infections, at a dosage of 30 to 40 mg per kg per day.


Stulberg DL1, Hutchinson AG, Molluscum contagiosum and warts. Am Fam Physician. 2003 Mar 15;67(6):1233-40.