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Notable Notes
September 2013

Euphorbia peplus: 18th-Century Insights on a 21st-Century Therapy

Author Affiliations
  • 1Cochin Medical College, Kochi, Kerala, India
  • 2Department of Dermatology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
JAMA Dermatol. 2013;149(9):1081. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2013.5118

In 2012, the US Food and Drug Administration approved a new therapeutic agent, ingenol mebutate, for the topical treatment of actinic keratoses. Ingenol mebutate is a diterpene ester with the chemical formula C25H34O6 and is extracted from the sap of the plant species Euphorbia peplus, also known as the petty spurge. Euphorbia peplus extract has been used for centuries as a topical agent for the treatment of a variety of skin conditions in traditional medicine systems from around the world.