Table of contents

  • Brand Names
  • Chemistry
  • Pharmacologic Category
  • Mechanism of Action
  • Therapeutic Use
  • Unlabeled Use
  • Contraindications
  • Warnings and Precautions
  • Adverse Reactions
  • Inhibits
  • Toxicological Effects
  • Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics

Brand Names

North America

Canada: Canthacur, Cantharone.

Drug combinations


Cantharides Tincture: Tincture prepared from cantharides (beetles of the Epicauta gorhami Marseul (Meloidae family)).

Pharmacologic Category

Keratolytic Agents. (ATC-Code: D11AF).

Mechanism of action

Cantharidin (an anhydride of cantharidic acid) is a potent inhibitor of protein phosphatases types 1 and 2, which acts as a dermal and mucosal vesicant. It is derived from the blister beetle (Cantharis vesicatoria) used topically as a wart remover (at concentrations of 0.7% to 1%). Due to its lipid solubility, systemic absorption can occur from dermal contact.

Therapeutic use

Removal of ordinary and periungual warts.

Pregnancy and lactiation implications

Unlabeled use



Hypersensitivity to cantharidin or any component of the formulation.

Warnings and precautions

May cause delirium.



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