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Verapamil gel is a topical medication that is primarily used to treat Peyronie’s disease. It may also be prescribed for other fibrotic tissue disorders such as plantar fibromatosis and Dupuytren's disease. The drug is in the calcium channel blockers class. This treatment can be desirable partly because it has few side effects and is noninvasive.
There are multiple fibrotic tissue disorders for which verapamil gel may be prescribed. It is most commonly used to treat Peyronie’s disease, a condition in which plaque forms in the penis, causing pain and severe curvature. The gel may also be used to treat Dupuytren's disease, in which lumps and dermal pits grow in the hands. Patients with plantar fibromatosis have also used the gel to shrink and manage the growth of masses in the feet.
Verapamil appears to be one of the least invasive options for treating fibrotic tissue disorders. Other treatments for this kind of condition include injections of corticosteroid directly into the growth or surgery to remove it. All methods of treatment will usually include some form of physical therapy, such as stretching exercises, sometimes with the aid of special equipment.
The active ingredient in verapamil gel is absorbed into the skin. It then travels to the site of the plaque and breaks it down. Verapamil gel is also believed to stop or impede the growth of the plaque as well. The drug is designed to be absorbed primarily by the plaque and surrounding skin. Typically, only a small amount is absorbed by the blood.
Verapamil gel is typically prescribed to be applied twice a day. Treatment usually lasts at least six months and can take up to a year to complete. Some symptoms, such as painful erections, can be expected to go away within a few months. Completely treating the growth in the tissue can take much longer.
The most common side effect of verapamil gel is irritation or the development of a rash in the area of application. In many cases, the skin will clear up within a few days. If it does not, an over-the-counter anti-itch cream will usually take care of the problem.
Verapamil also comes in tablets. In this form, the drug is typically used for angina and high blood pressure. The drug helps the body to produce more oxygen and blood. It also relaxes the blood vessels so that there is less strain on the heart. Depending on the type of tablet, it can be taken twice to several times a day.