Information about cause, treatment, and prevention

Can a Drug for High Blood Pressure Treat Keloid Scars?

Injections of verapamil, a hypertension drug, can reduce the size of keloid scars.

Verapamil is a pharmaceutical drug typically used in oral pill form to treat high blood pressure and chest pain. Studies have shown that injections of this calcium channel blocker type drug may help resolve keloid scars.3

How Does Verapamil Work?

Verapamil blocks production of molecule that form fibroid tissue (e.g., collagen).3

Evidence of Benefit

A number of small clinical trials have been conducted to determine the effectiveness of verapamil is an anti-keloid agent. In one randomized study comparing verapamil injections to steroid injections, verapamil significantly reduced the height and width of those treated comparable to those treated with the corticosteroids. Prior to treatment the average scar width was over 6.5 mm and the average height over 4 mm in the group of patients randomly assigned to receive verapamil, and similar in the steroid group. Patients were given injections once every three weeks of either 40 mg/mL corticosteroid or 2.5 mg/mL of verapamil until their scars were flattened. After six treatments, the average width was 1.81 mm and the average height 0.15 mm. Notably the keloids did not show any regrowth to original size when examined a year after that.19

Case studies indicate verapamil injections given after surgical removal of keloids can also help cure or reduce recurrence rates. Typical dosage strength is 2.5 mg/mL, and the amount given depends on the size of the scar.3

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