wart on a finger

There are so many wart remedies it is hard to know where to start or stop. Castor oil applications are highly recommended by our readers. But one of the few treatments that have actually been tested is taking Tagamet (cimetidine).

This research has been published in numerous dermatological journals. We consider this a “home remedy” because it is a novel use for this popular heartburn medicine.

One study found that more than 80 percent of treated patients had a significant response, though it did take six to eight weeks to see improvement.* The dose was 30 mg/kg/day. To calculate weight in kg, divide the weight in pounds by 2.2.

Other studies have not had such success. Flat warts seem to respond better than raised ones.

How Tagamet might work remains elusive, though one theory has it the drug alerts the immune system so the body attacks the virus that causes warts.

Although a number of case studies and open label trials have produced quite positive results in children, traditional randomized controlled trials in which patients’ parents do not know whether the child is receiving cimetidine or placebo have been unimpressive.

* Glass, A. T., and B. A. Solomon. “Cimetidine Therapy for Recalcitrant Warts in Adults.” Arch. Dermatol. 1996; 132:680-682.

Fit, K. E., and P. C. Williams, “Use of histamine2-antagonists for the treatment of verruca vulgaris.” Ann. Pharmacother. 2007 Jul; 41(7):1222-1226.

Join Over 80,000 Subscribers at The People's Pharmacy

Each week we send two free email newsletters with breaking health news, prescription drug information, home remedies and a preview of our award-winning radio show. Join our mailing list and get the information you need to make confident choices about your health.

  1. Karen
    Alaska
    Reply

    Today I just started my first dosage of Tagamet. I have plantar warts and although I’ve heard this works best for kids with a higher immune system, I’m hoping this wakes up my 38 year old immune system. I’m also using beetle juice every 2-3 weeks for about 3 months now. I also have Ulceritive Colitis so it would be awesome if my immune system would get stronger and kill off these annoying warts!

    • melissa d.
      United States
      Reply

      did it work?

  2. Chris
    Michigan
    Reply

    I just want to update my previous post. I started taking Tagamet on January 10th 2015 and today is February 11th. Its been one month a 1 day.

    It is hard for me to ascertain if any progress has taken place from the Tagamet, or lack thereof, as I had laser surgery a few days before I started Tagamet on Jan 10. My foot was a total blistered mess. Unfortunately for me, my foot became infected and I had to be put on a high dosage of antibiotics. The infection has cleared up but some days my foot is still in a lot of pain. It is still red and hasn’t completely healed yet from the laser surgery.

    However, I did have a wart on my right hand which “seems” to be shrinking. I have studied my foot and “for once” the warts that were lasered, haven’t come back right away. This could be from having laser surgery on the foot 3x now, or could be the Tagamet or a combination of both. Not sure yet….

    I have been taking Tagamet 2x per day, not 3. I talked to my Doctor today and he was miffed at me for not taking it 3x per day, so Im going to start doing that tomorrow.

    As far as side effects go, I do get headaches more often and I attributed that to Tagamet being an anti-histamine too. I think it dries me out (800mg 2x a day). I just make sure if I feel a headache coming on that I hydrate and pop 2 Advil right away. I was an IBS sufferer, but noticed I haven’t had 1 flareup since starting taking Tagamet. This makes sense, as it is supposed to reduce stomach acid. So, added bonus I suppose.

    I am willing to DO ANYTHING it takes to get these warts to go away for good. If I have to take Tagamet for 5 years and suffer with headaches, I WILL if these dang warts will disappear!!

    Other than that… thats all I’ve got. I will update again in 1 month.

    • Oli
      Sydney
      Reply

      Is there an update on the Tagamet?

      • Chris
        Michigan
        Reply

        Ok Im day 60 of taking Tagamet 800mg 2-3x day, to get rid of these stupid warts on my right foot and the big (mother?) wart on my right hand. Oli, this update is dedicated to you! :-)

        Unfortunately, my update tonight will pretty much be the same as my last update from February 11. I was really hoping for MORE progress by this point, but I will take what I can get. This was an experiment for me, after all.

        The wart on my right hand that seems to wax and wane – but it has not gone away. I cannot really tell if it has shrunk at all, but I like to think it has shrunk in surface area – just not size (height – raised skin). It just looks to be existing. As far as my foot goes, where the Doctor laser surgery’d before, small warts still appear to be “trying” to grow back but they are staying small and do not appear to have grown much. For a while, a few popped up that almost looked like whitehead pimples. They have since turned into little itty bitty baby warts.

        I cannot tell if the Tagamet is keeping the warts on my foot from growing or if its from having laser surgery 3 times. However, I will continue to use the Tagamet and update this blog every 30 days!! Im not going to give up. If I have to take that pill for a full year, I WILL. Warts be damned. lol

        Oh, and I have been applying salicylic acid to the wart on my hand. A few layers peel off after a few days, but it just doesn’t seem to want to go away alltogether… yet.

        • Chris
          Michigan
          Reply

          Ok today is April 9th 2015. I have been taking Tagamet 800mg twice daily (for a short stint – 3x daily) since January 10th. I have been using Tagamet now for 90 days.

          I wish I had some great news to report, that Tagamet made all my warts fall off. However, I just have mediocre news this time. The wart on my right hand keeps coming back, but it seems to do it very slowly, much slower than before. I file it down with a nail file, and treat it with Compound W gel. It seems to keep it at bay, but it is not disappearing. Every time I believe its shrinking or going away, I think its partial wishful thinking.

          The warts on my right toes are also growing back, albeit slowly. I now have a big painful plantar wart on the toe next to my big toe, and Ive never had one there before. It seems the last laser surgery I had at my podiatrist in January took care of the clusters of warts between the two toes, but there are – what appears to be – new ones coming in. I called my podiatrist yesterday, and the earliest he can get me in for more laser surgery is April 30th. Augh! This ones going to hurt, the last one took me a whole 5 weeks to recover!

          I will continue to take Tagamet and promise to report back in another month. I hope these updates are helping somebody! I wish more people would respond, or at least acknowledge my posts, so at least I know Im not rambling off into cyberspace. I know that when I read these kinds of comments sections, I always hope people come back and report their progress, or lack thereof. So thats my motivation to keep coming back.

          • Chris
            Michigan

            This is my last update. Today is May 11th 2015, and I was on Tagamet for around 100 days, 2x a day.

            I had something interesting happen…. I was really doubting the Tagamet was working. During my last update, I wasn’t noticing any shrinkage or elimination of the wart infestation on my foot, or the (huge) wart on my right hand. I discontinued Tagamet about 3 weeks ago.

            Right after I discontinued Tagamet.. maybe a week after, one night in bed I felt dry skin on the bottom of my toe, when I moved in bed one night and my foot brushed my leg. I got up, went to the bathroom and inspected my foot. My plantar warts were drying up, or shedding, or doing something. “GREAT” I said to myself, they are probably getting ready to multiply again. But, the next day I looked at the wart on my right hand and it too, was shedding. It had dry skin coming off of it. I filed it down with a nail file.

            That was a few weeks ago. I cannot believe it, really… I have tried EVERYTHING. But the wart on my hand is about 95% gone, my plantar warts are about 75% gone, and the little warts between my big toe and the toe next to it are almost non-existent.

            Here’s the problem: I discontinued Tagamet. I cannot say “for sure” it was the Tagamet, or if my body just finally recognized the HPV virus and eliminated them, or what. BUT I will say this – I have tried everything under the sun, ad nauseum, but the warts disappeared after taking Tagamet for 3 1/2 months. I am going to err on the side of safety and put my neck out to say that the Tagamet was the catalyst for my warts to disappear. I have been so relieved that I do not have this ugly wart on the side of my hand anymore (I am an animated talker and it was ALWAYS the first thing people looked at). My feet irritated me, but really – they are in socks and shoes all day, so not 1/2 as embarrassing as my hand.

            So thats it – this is going to be my final update. I’m hoping and praying they don’t come back. But if they do, I will get RIGHT back on the Tagamet 2x a day!!!

  3. Chris
    Michigan
    Reply

    I just started taking 800mg of Tagamet 3x day, today.

    I have been thru hell and back with an infestation of warts on my right foot which started out as planters warts on the bottom of my big toe. It quickly developed into about 30 hideous warts on my big toe, and the little toe next to it, and the webbing between. Ugh. Strangely at The same time, I also developed a big ol wart on my right hand. I have never had any skin or wart problems my whole life!!

    At first my dermatologist froze them multiple times which racked up a gigantic Bill $$$ and they just came back bigger, I tried every over-the-counter and old wives tale’s remedy to no avail (duo-film seems to work the best out of any of the over-the-counter products however). Most recently I went to a podiatrist who gives me laser surgery, but they keep coming back, they are super resistant. It is also noteworthy that I’ve always had a crappy immune system. So since Tagamet excites your immune cells, I’m thinking this is my smoking gun.

    I had read about taking tagumet before on the web, but I finally asked my podiatrist about it this past Thursday and he sounded kind of shocked that I knew about it, and said to give it a shot. I’m 34 years old. I know it is said to work better with kids, so I’m crossing my fingers. Wish me luck!

  4. Bob P.
    sarasota, fl
    Reply

    My son had cauliflower wart for last one year and we tried everything from salicylic acid, compound w, compounded cream and homeopathic drugs, liquid nitrogen, dermatologist specialist, freezing wart, aldara, imiquimod… everything failed… none of the therapy worked … in fact he grew more warts, we were more desperate and more worried.

    We visited this site and saw some positive results with cimetidine and thought to give a try… Professionally I am pharmacist so it was hard to believe, but I got a very positive response. All warts were gone in 3 months… we were giving my son 50mg/kg/day… around 1200-1300 mg per day… we did twice a day so 600-650 mg twice a day.. I have some before and after photo for my records and now warts are gone.. yes my son had 10-15 warts and they all fell off in 3 months.. I tried liquid cimetidine 300mg/5 ml… he also had some flat warts and planters warts on his hand and finger and they are all gone. I appreciate all the help I got from this site.

    • oli
      Australia
      Reply

      Hi Bob, my daughter has got about 50 on her body on her face, hands and feet and some on the elbows. She had Wilms Kidney cancer a few years ago so I’m assuming her immune system is not the best. She is 8 years old and the freezing and OTC medications did nothing but make them spread and scarred some on her hands from this barbaric acts.

      We have recently changed doctors and now I’m wanting to attack the virus on two fronts. 1. immune so cod liver oil vit c lysine vit d spuriluina . 2. tagamet (cimitdeine) (magicul) here in Australia. I started her on 600mg a day one in morning and one at night. she is also on her third week of aldara and thats not improving them at all but at least no more have spread.

      Her fingers are constantly wrapped up in duct tape now and tea tree oil every day with regular salt baths but I’m still feeling constantly disheartened with progress.
      she only started taking cimitidiene last week and the multi vitamins two weeks before that. The fingers warts seem to have improved and shrunk since this duct tape treatment but nothing has changed on her face or feet. Do you or anyone else have any other information that could benefit her or some advice ? thanks so much

  5. Lucy
    Reply

    I started taking Tagamet about a month ago for flat warts on my face. I’m taking 400 mg 3x a day. It seems to be helping. They look better, but now I’m worried about acid rebound and the damage this high dose could cause to my stomach… Anyone with any info would be greatly appreciated.

  6. SP
    Reply

    Hello all, 2 months ago I started a Tagamet regimen for the treatment of Facial flat warts. I have been taking 1200 mgs/ day religiously… and like many others I had tried absolutely everything before trying Tagamet.
    At first I saw zero difference… I took progress pictures every 2 weeks and I was getting discouraged that there seemed to be no difference.
    Everything changed 2 weeks ago. I had started to notice that all of the warts were getting red, they became ridiculously inflamed and itchy- I looked like a teenage boy with cystic acne… I had no idea what was going on and needless to say I wasn’t a happy camper.
    But believe it or not, after a few days they all started drying out and *poof* like magic my flat warts were all gone. I have some residual scarring but nothing that I can’t handle after what I’ve been through.
    Like many others, I will continue to stay at this dosage for a month and then I will begin to dose down. If you have flat warts and are looking for a solution, please try this. Be patient and don’t give up…

  7. MT
    Reply

    Hi! I read all the comments about using Tagamet for flat warts and I decided to give it a try. I am a 40 year old women who has been battling flat warts for 8 years. I have a few on my left leg but i have THOUSANDS if not MILLIONS under my left breast and on my abdomen.
    I have literally tried everything!!!!! Salicylic Acid, duct tape, apple cider vinegar, baking soda, lemon, thuja, aldera… I have had them burned off, lasered off….you name it, I have tried it and NOTHING has worked until now. I started taking Tagamet 5 days ago. I am taking 800 mg twice a day. 800mg in the morning and 800mg at night. Well, after day one I notice a big difference and now 5 days later half, if not more of the warts are gone and the ones that have remained look like tiny little pimples. It IS a miracle!
    I can’t wait to see how long it will take for all of them to disappear. I am thinking that at this rate, maybe another 5 days I I will be wart free! I am soooooo happy and excited and relieved!!!! I couldn’t wear a bra all this time… imagine what a nuisance that is! I can’t believe it! I would highly recommend this to any one trying to get rid of flat warts. I am 125 lbs and I am taking 1600mg daily with no side effects whatsoever. I will continue to take this dosage for at least a month after they are all gone just to be sure!

  8. Troy
    Reply

    I tried the tagamet, at first I thought it was working but when I ran out, it was 4 days till I got more and then progress never resumed. The tagamet also made me feel mildly depressed. The warts were again getting worse and spreading. I finally got rid of warts spreading all over my hands, by cutting them off with some end nipper pliers I modified to cut flush against my skin, dabbing it with pure chlorine bleach, and rubbing in castor oil. In five days the skin healed nearly to it normal prewart condition, rubbing in castor oil daily. By ten days I could not tell where the wart was. I am wart free now and sure thank GOD for castor oil. Its well worth it to cut them off first, takes months if you skip that step. Be sure you wipe thoroughly with bleach the effected area and the tool, so you don’t spread the virus around.

  9. Jaclyn
    Reply

    Anyone with success using tagamet method:
    Did you notice any physical changes in the warts during treatment (Did they shrink? Change color?) or did you just notice they disappeared one day?
    Thanks

  10. sm
    Reply

    Wow that is a really high dose.
    Any results or side effects so far?

  11. sm
    Reply

    Do you remember what your dosage was?

  12. MR
    Reply

    I have two common warts on the edge of my fingers around my finger nail and they have not gone away for FOUR YEARS OF PERSISTENT DERMATOLOGIST TREATMENT! I also have two plantars warts on my feet. I have used compound w in liquid, gel, and freeze off form. I have gotten them frozen off at the doctor 7 times and have been given injections and beetle juice. I have tried duct tape as well. Nothing has worked. I was just prescribed tagamet and am praying to god this stuff works.

What Do You Think?

We invite you to share your thoughts with others, but remember that our comment section is a public forum. Please do not use your full first and last name if you want to keep details of your medical history anonymous. A first name and last initial or a pseudonym is acceptable. Advice from other commenters on this website is not a substitute for medical attention. Do not stop any medicine without checking with the prescriber. Stopping medication suddenly could result in serious harm. We expect comments to be civil in tone and language. By commenting, you agree to abide by our commenting policy and website terms & conditions. Comments that do not follow these policies will not be posted.