Bowen Disease Medication

Updated: Nov 07, 2019
  • Author: Mary V Kaldas, MD; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
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Medication Summary

The goals of therapy for Bowen disease are to reduce morbidity and to prevent complications.


Antineoplastic agents

Class Summary

These are topical agents that may be used in the management of Bowen disease.

5-Fluorouracil (Efudex, Carac, Adrucil, Fluoroplex)

5-Fluorouracil administered topically under occlusion, following the use of keratolytic or cryotherapy, or by iontophoresis (an electrogradient-driven chemical delivery system), can be used. It interferes with DNA synthesis by blocking methylation of deoxyuridylic acid and inhibits thymidylate synthetase, which subsequently reduces cell proliferation.

Imiquimod (Aldara)

The precise mechanism of action for the treatment of Bowen disease is unknown. It may increase tumor infiltration of lymphocytes, dendritic cells, and macrophages. It is indicated when surgical methods are not appropriate.