Efficacy

Reported cure rates in 13 RCTs ranged from 0% to 84%.8

SA versus placebo

Six RCTs9-14 (376 adults and children) compared SA with placebo. SA preparations gave higher cure rates: 75% versus 48%; odds ratio (OR) 3-91 (95% confidence interval (CI) 2-40-6-36); number needed to treat (NNT) 3-67 (CI 2-72-5-60).

SA versus cryotherapy

Two RCTs15,16 compared SA with cryotherapy (272 adults and children). Cure rates ranged between 60% and 70% and did not differ significantly between the two treatments; OR 1-15 (CI 0-72-1-82).

Other comparisons

Seven other RCTs15,17-20 compared different products containing SA or compared SA with other topical treatments such as glutaraldehyde and dithranol. The limited evidence provided by these different trials showed no convincing advantage of any particular delivery system for SA, or of the other topical treatments.

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