Becaplermin Topical : Uses, Side Effects, Interactions & More
Why is this medication prescribed?
Becaplermin gel is used as part of a total treatment program to help heal certain foot, ankle, or leg ulcers (sores) in people with diabetes. Becaplermin gel should be used in conjunction with good care of ulcers, including: removal of dead tissue by a medical professional; using special shoes, walkers, crutches, or wheelchairs to keep weight off the ulcer; and treatment of any infection that develops. Becaplermin cannot be used to treat ulcers that have been sewn or stapled. Becaplermin is a growth factor derived from human platelets, a substance naturally produced by the body that aids in wound healing. It works by helping to repair and replace dead skin and other tissues, attracting cells that repair wounds, and helping to close and heal the ulcer.
How should this medicine be used?
Becaplermin comes as a gel to apply to the skin. It is usually applied once a day to the ulcer. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Use the becaplermin gel exactly as directed. Do not use more or less or use it more often than prescribed by your doctor. Using more gel than your doctor prescribed will not help your ulcer heal faster.
Your doctor will show you how to measure the becaplermin gel and will tell you how much gel to apply. The amount of gel you will need depends on the size of your ulcer. Your doctor will examine your ulcer every 1 to 2 weeks, and may tell you to use less gel as your ulcer heals and gets smaller.
Becaplermin gel is for exclusive use on the skin. Do not swallow the medicine. Do not apply the medication to any part of your body other than the ulcer being treated.
To apply becaplermin gel, follow these steps:
- Wash your hands well.
- Gently rinse the wound with water. Wash your hands again
- Squeeze the length of the gel your doctor has told you to use on a clean, non-absorbent surface, such as wax paper. Do not touch the tip of the tube with waxed paper, an ulcer, or any other surface. Recap the tube tightly after use.
- Use a clean cotton swab, tongue depressor, or other applicator to spread the gel on the ulcer surface in an even layer about 1/16 inch (0.2 centimeters) thick (about as thick as a penny).
- Dampen a piece of gauze with saline and place it on the wound. The gauze should cover only the wound, not the skin around it.
- Put a small, dry dressing on the wound. Wrap a soft, dry gauze bandage over the pad and hold it in place with tape. Be careful not to stick the tape on your skin.
- After about 12 hours, remove the bandage and gauze bandage and rinse the ulcer gently with saline or water to remove any remaining gel.
- Sell the ulcer by following the instructions in steps 5 and 6. Do not reuse the gauze, dressing, or bandage you removed before washing the ulcer. Use fresh supplies.
Other uses for this medicine
This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before using becaplermin gel,
- Tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to becaplermin, parabens, any other medications, or any of the ingredients in becaplermin gel.
- Tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and over-the-counter medications, vitamins, nutritional products, and herbal supplements you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention other medications that are applied to the ulcer.
- Tell your doctor if you have a skin tumor or cancer in the area where you should apply becaplermin gel. Your doctor will probably tell you not to use becaplermin gel.
- Tell your doctor if you have or have ever had poor blood flow to your legs or feet, or cancer. Talk to your doctor about the risks of using becaplermin gel.
- Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while using becaplermin gel, call your doctor.
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.
What should I do if I forget a dose?
Skip the missed application and continue your regular application schedule. Do not apply extra gel to make up for a missed application.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Becaplermin gel may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if this symptom is severe or does not go away:
- burning feeling at or near the area that you applied becaplermin gel
Becaplermin gel may cause other side effects. Tell your doctor if you have any unusual problems while using this medicine.
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor can submit an online report to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting Program (http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch) or by phone (1-800-332-1088).
What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?
Keep this medicine in the container in which it was tightly closed and out of the reach of children. Keep it in the refrigerator at all times but do not freeze it. Do not use the gel after the expiration date marked on the bottom of the tube.
It is important to keep all medications out of the sight and reach of children, as many containers (such as those for taking pills weekly and those used for eye drops, creams, patches, and inhalers) are not resistant to children and children. young children can easily open them. To protect young children from poisoning, always close the safety caps and immediately put the medicine in a safe place, one that is up and away and out of your sight and reach. http://www.upandaway.org
Unnecessary medications must be disposed of in special ways to ensure that pets, children, and others cannot consume them. However, you should not flush this medicine down the toilet. Instead, the best way to get rid of your medication is through a medication take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local recycling / garbage department to find out about return programs in your community. Consult the FDA’s Safe Drug Disposal website (http://goo.gl/c4Rm4p) for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.
What other information should I know?
Keep all your appointments with your doctor.
Do not allow anyone to use your medicine. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
It is important that you keep a written list of all prescription and over-the-counter (non-prescription) medications you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should carry this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.
Disclaimer: DrLinex has made every effort to ensure that all information is factually accurate, comprehensive and up-to-date. However, this article should not be used as a licensed health care professional’s choice of knowledge and expertise. You should always consult your doctor or other health care professional before taking any medication. The information given here is subject to change and it has not been used to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions or adverse effects. The lack of warning or other information for any drug does not indicate that the combination of medicine or medication is safe, effective or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.