Patients with genital warts: how are they managed by general practitioners?

C. S. Estcourt*, S. P. Higgins, J. Hall, V. F. Hillier, S. Chandiok, P. D. Woolley

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


This study was carried out to assess the management by general practitioners of patients with genital warts. An anonymized postal questionnaire was sent to 2060 general practitioners in the north west of England; 1260 (61.2%) completed questionnaires were returned. A total of 76.69% of GPs saw one or more cases per quarter. Of 468 (37.1%) GPs who managed patients in-house, 393 (83.9%) used podophyllin of concentration between 0.5 and 50%; 169 (43%) did not specify the podophyllin concentration and 112 (23.9%) used podophyllotoxin. Of 395 GPs (31.3%) prescribing patient self-treatment, 259 (65.6%) prescribed podophyllin, but 60.23% did not specify the concentration; 134 (33.9%) prescribed podophyllotoxin. Screening for selected sexually transmitted infections (STIs) was performed by 258/618 (41.7%) GPs. Only 74 (11.97%) screened for Chlamydia trachomatis and Neisseria gonorrhoeae and Trichomonas vaginalis. Partner notification was advised by 1138 (90.3%) and condom use by 1027 (81.5%). Only 333 (26.4%) referred all patients to GUM departments. Many GPs manage patients in-house, most using podophyllin solutions which vary in concentration, are non-standardized and potentially hazardous. Most GPs who instigate patient self-treatment prescribe podophyllin which is not Licensed for this usage. Podophyllotoxin 0.5% is a safe, effective alternative. Few non-referring GPs screened for the 3 common STIs, thus putting patients at risk of complications such as pelvic inflammatory disease. Non-referral of patients with genital warts to GUM departments may have costly medical and financial consequences.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)221-223
Number of pages3
JournalInternational Journal of STD and AIDS
Issue number3
Early online date1 May 1996
Publication statusPublished - May 1996
Externally publishedYes


  • General practice
  • Genital warts

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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