Frequently asked questions about Collagenase SANTYL Ointment

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SANTYL Ointment is an enzymatic debriding ointment containing 250 collagenase units per gram of white petrolatum USP. The enzyme collagenase is derived from the fermentation by Clostridium histolyticum. It possesses the unique ability to digest collagen in necrotic tissue.

SANTYL Ointment is active enzymatic therapy that continuously removes necrotic tissue from wounds, allowing granulation to proceed and epithelialization to occur. For more information on SANTYL Ointment's unique mechanism of action, please see our Mechanism of action page.

SANTYL Ointment is indicated for the debridement of chronic dermal ulcers–including pressure ulcers, diabetic ulcers, and venous leg ulcers–and severely burned areas. It is appropriate for both initial debridement and continuous debridement after sharp or surgical debridement.

Some types of debridement, such as autolytic methods (hydrogel, occlusive dressings), take a passive approach, relying solely on the body’s natural mechanism to heal. Surgical, sharp, mechanical, and wet-to-dry methods are episodic, removing necrotic tissue only at the moment of debridement. SANTYL Ointment takes an active approach, helping to maintain a clean wound bed by removing debris over time to help prevent reaccumulation of clinically harmful amounts of necrotic tissue.

For a complete review of the SANTYL Ointment application protocol, please see the Application section.

SANTYL Ointment should be applied once daily, or more frequently if dressings become soiled (eg, from incontinence). For a complete review of the SANTYL Ointment application protocol, please see the Application section or the dosing calculator to estimate proper dosing.

Sterile saline is compatible for use with SANTYL Ointment. If using a wound cleanser, follow it with saline before applying SANTYL Ointment. For a complete review of the SANTYL Ointment application protocol, please see the Application section.

Because the enzyme in SANTYL Ointment is activated by the hydrophilic environment of the wound, it is important to use dressings that maintain moisture balance. Avoid silver and iodine dressings; these substances inactivate collagenase. For a complete review of the SANTYL Ointment application protocol, please see the Application section.

Discontinue SANTYL Ointment when medically indicated and/or once debridement of necrotic tissue is complete and granulation tissue is well established.

Apply a topical antibiotic powder to the wound site before applying SANTYL Ointment. If the infection does not respond, discontinue use of SANTYL Ointment until the infection is resolved.

A slight transient erythema has been noted occasionally in the surrounding tissue with use of SANTYL Ointment, particularly when it was not confined to the wound. Therefore, the ointment should be applied carefully within the area of the wound. No allergic sensitivity or toxic reactions have been noted in clinical use when SANTYL Ointment is used as directed. One case of systemic manifestations of hypersensitivity to collagenase in a patient treated for more than 1 year with a combination of collagenase and cortisone has been reported.

SANTYL Ointment is contraindicated in patients who have shown local or systemic hypersensitivity to collagenase.

SANTYL Ointment should be stored at room temperature. Do not store above 25°C (77°F). Sterility is guaranteed until the tube is opened.


Collagenase SANTYL Ointment is indicated for debriding chronic dermal ulcers and severely burned areas.

Occasional slight transient erythema has been noted in surrounding tissue when applied outside the wound. One case of systemic hypersensitivity has been reported after 1 year of treatment with collagenase and cortisone. Use of Collagenase SANTYL Ointment should be terminated when debridement is complete and granulation tissue is well established.

For more details, please see complete prescribing information.