becaplermin, Regranex

  • Pharmacy Author:
    Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD

    Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.

  • Pharmacy Author: Eni Williams, PharmD, PhD
    Eni Williams, PharmD, PhD

    Dr. Eni Williams graduated from Creighton University in 1988 with a B.S. degree in pharmacy and a Doctor of Pharmacy from Howard University in 1994. She also obtained a Ph.D. in Public Policy in 2009 at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

  • Medical and Pharmacy Editor: Jay W. Marks, MD
    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD, is a board-certified internist and gastroenterologist. He graduated from Yale University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology at UCLA/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

Better Blood Sugar Balance

GENERIC AVAILABLE: No

PRESCRIPTION: Yes

PREPARATIONS: Gel: 0.01%

STORAGE: Becaplermin should be stored in a refrigerator at 2 C to 8 C (36 F to 46 F). It should not be frozen and should not be used after the expiration date imprinted on the tube.

PRESCRIBED FOR: Becaplermin is used to treat diabetic ulcers of the lower limbs (foot, ankle and leg) along with usual ulcer care which includes the removal of dead tissue, reduction of pressure on the ulcer, and management of infection.

DOSING: The amount of becaplermin that is applied to the ulcer depends on the size of the ulcer. This can be calculated by measuring the greatest length and width of the ulcer and then applying the amount that is recommended by the directions that accompany each tube of becaplermin. The following method is recommended depending on whether the measurements are in inches or centimeters as follows:

  • A 15 g tube: length of ulcer x width x 0.6 = length of gel (inches) or length of ulcer x width ÷ 4 = length of gel (cm)
  • A 2 g tube: length of ulcer x width x 1.3 = length of gel (inches) or length of ulcer x width ÷ 2 = length of gel (cm)

To apply becaplermin gel, hands should first be thoroughly washed. The tip of the tube should not be allowed to contact the ulcer site or any other surface and thereby become contaminated. The cap on the tube should be closed tightly after each use. The calculated amount of gel should be applied once a day.

DRUG INTERACTIONS: There are no known important drug interactions that can occur with becaplermin.

PREGNANCY: Becaplermin has not been well studied in pregnant women. It may be used during pregnancy if the physician feels the benefits of using the drug outweigh the unknown risks to the developing fetus.

NURSING MOTHERS: It is not known if becaplermin is secreted in breast milk. For this reason, it should be used with caution in a mother who is breastfeeding.

SIDE EFFECTS AND PRECAUTIONS: The most common side effect of becaplermin is a rash that can develop on the skin where it is applied. Other important side effects caused by the drug include redness of the skin called erythema, a skin ulcer with possible infection and pain at the location where the drug is applied. An increased risk of developing cancer or dying from cancer has been reported with becaplermin use. The drug should be used with caution in individuals with a history of cancer.

Reference: FDA Prescribing Information

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/17/2014

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