becaplermin, Regranex (cont.)

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Diabetic ulcers heal slowly and sometimes not at all because the healing process is impaired, probably because blood flow to the skin is reduced in people with diabetes. This can lead to serious bacterial infections within the ulcers which can spread and necessitate amputation of the foot or leg. Becaplermin acts along with naturally- occurring PDGF to expedite the recruitment of cells to the ulcer, promote the division of cells and the formation of new skin. Remodeling, the third and final phase of wound healing, restructures the healed ulcer, and the scar tissue that has formed is broken down. As a result of remodeling, the new skin assumes the appearance of the old skin. Becaplermin is the first drug that can be applied directly to the ulcer that is designed to promote healing. It was approved by the FDA in December 1997.




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.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/17/2014

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