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Imiquimod Cream (Aldara)

Generic Name: Imiquimod Cream (Aldara) (i mi KWI mod)
Brand Name: Aldara

Medically reviewed on May 2, 2018

Uses of Imiquimod Cream:

  • It is used to treat genital warts.
  • It is used to treat perianal warts.
  • It is used to treat skin harmed by the sun and some skin cancers.

What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take Imiquimod Cream?

  • If you have an allergy to imiquimod or any other part of imiquimod cream (aldara).
  • If you are allergic to any drugs like this one, any other drugs, foods, or other substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had, like rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
  • If your skin has not healed from other care or surgery.
  • If you are using another drug that has the same drug in it.

This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with imiquimod cream (aldara).

Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take imiquimod cream (aldara) with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.

What are some things I need to know or do while I take Imiquimod Cream?

For all uses of imiquimod cream (aldara):

  • Tell all of your health care providers that you take imiquimod cream (aldara). This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
  • Have your skin checked as you have been told by your doctor. Talk with your doctor.
  • You may get sunburned more easily. Avoid sun, sunlamps, and tanning beds. Use sunscreen and wear clothing and eyewear that protects you from the sun.
  • People using imiquimod cream (aldara) may get skin reactions where imiquimod cream (aldara) is used or around the area. These reactions may include burning, crusting, dryness, flaking, itching, oozing, pain, redness, scabbing, scaling, sores or ulcers, or swelling. If these reactions get very bad, a break from using imiquimod cream (aldara) may be needed as told by the doctor. Talk with the doctor.
  • Call your doctor right away if you have a skin reaction that bothers you or if the reaction makes it hard to keep putting imiquimod cream (aldara) on. Call your doctor right away if you have a skin reaction that causes problems with daily living.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan on getting pregnant. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks of using imiquimod cream (aldara) while you are pregnant.
  • Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding. You will need to talk about any risks to your baby.

For genital or perianal warts:

  • This medicine will not cure your genital or perianal warts. You may get new warts while using imiquimod cream (aldara). Tell your doctor if you see any new warts.
  • Condoms or diaphragms may not work to prevent pregnancy. Use some other kind of birth control while taking imiquimod cream (aldara).
  • Do not have any kind of sex when imiquimod cream (aldara) is on your genital or anal skin.

How is this medicine (Imiquimod Cream) best taken?

Use imiquimod cream (aldara) as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.

  • Follow how to use as you have been told by the doctor or read the package insert.
  • Do not use more or for longer than you have been told. This may raise the chance of a very bad skin reaction or other side effect.
  • Do not take imiquimod cream (aldara) by mouth. Use on your skin only. Keep out of your mouth, nose, and eyes (may burn).
  • Do not put in the vagina or anus.
  • Use at bedtime.
  • Wash your hands before and after use.
  • Clean affected part before use. Make sure to dry well.
  • Put a thin layer on the affected skin and rub in gently.
  • Do not put on sunburned skin.
  • Avoid putting on healthy skin unless you have been told to do so by the doctor.
  • Do not use coverings (bandages, dressings) unless told to do so by the doctor.
  • Do not bathe, shower, or swim after putting on.
  • Leave on the skin for as long as the doctor told you to, then wash off.
  • Throw away any part of the packet not used after use.

What do I do if I miss a dose?

  • Skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
  • Do not put on 2 doses or extra doses.

See also: Dosage Information (in more detail)

What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?

WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:

For all uses of imiquimod cream (aldara):

  • Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • Flu-like signs. These include headache, weakness, fever, shakes, aches, pains, and sweating.
  • Bleeding.
  • Swollen gland.

For genital or perianal warts:

  • Vaginal pain or swelling.
  • Trouble passing urine.

What are some other side effects of Imiquimod Cream?

All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:

  • Change in color of skin. This may not go back to normal.
  • Headache.
  • Upset stomach.
  • Feeling tired or weak.
  • Signs of a common cold.
  • Sinus pain.

These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.

You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. You may also report side effects at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.

How do I store and/or throw out Imiquimod Cream?

  • Store at room temperature. Do not freeze.
  • Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Throw away unused or expired drugs. Do not flush down a toilet or pour down a drain unless you are told to do so. Check with your pharmacist if you have questions about the best way to throw out drugs. There may be drug take-back programs in your area.

Consumer information use

  • If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
  • Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs.
  • Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
  • Talk with the doctor before starting any new drug, including prescription or OTC, natural products, or vitamins.
  • Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. Check with your pharmacist. If you have any questions about imiquimod cream (aldara), please talk with your doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

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