User Reviews for Imiquimod topical to treat Basal Cell Carcinoma
Brand names: Aldara, Zyclara
Imiquimod topical has an average rating of 6.9 out of 10 from a total of 65 reviews for the treatment of Basal Cell Carcinoma. 57% of reviewers reported a positive experience, while 23% reported a negative experience.
Reviews for Imiquimod topical
Aldara (imiquimod) "This is my 5th go-around with Aldara. I've previously treated 3 facial BCCs and 2 pre-cancerous areas. I insist on a biopsy the minute I have even a tiny, non-healing lesion and I have never been wrong. I notice nothing for about 14 days, then all the big reaction breaks loose! Painful, weeping, 2-cm sores requiring gauze just to sleep. I look like a leper. This latest treatment came with massive headaches, joint aches, abdominal pain and flu-like malaise which began during week three and continues unabated. That said, I have never had a lesion recur; there is no scarring whatsoever; and the healing after stopping the applications is swift-- all sores gone within about two weeks. It can take two to four months before the skin thickens completely back to normal, and I am compulsive about sun-screening-- especially any pre-treated areas. The treatment isn't fun, and at $400 a pop it's a bit excessive. But the results for me have been consistently great."
Aldara (imiquimod) "When treating for Basal Cell Carcinoma, in my case the arm, HEED THE WARNING to not use on sore or broken skin, which should include recently biopsied lesions to avoid any confusion. Wait until the excision site has healed. I did not receive this instruction and began using it that night. The pain was beyond description, reached deep into the muscle tissue, and lasted for hours. Follow-up phone calls of course confirmed the oversight. "
Frequently asked questions
- Is imiquimod the same as Aldara?
- What are the side effects of the HPV vaccine?
- Does Zyclara work for genital warts?
- Who makes Zyclara and where is it manufactured?
Aldara (imiquimod) "Used it for 3 weeks. 5 days on, 2 off, and so on. 1st week comes out like pimples, second they break, third they dry. Hurts, sure but not impossible. Works perfectly. Fever, drowsiness, headaches, but its worth it. I have used it for the last 5 years once a year for face skin problems."
"I’ve used this multiple times. All on the face. While the treatment is not pretty or painless the results are wonderful. With surgery I would have had to undergo plastic surgery to rebuild cheek area. This treatment was well worth the pain and discomfort. Skin is healthy and no surgeries. Be prepared to be stared at and don’t plan any important business/social event during treatment. It truly is ugly. But again, 6 weeks of discomfort for exceptional result is worth it to me. My skin was covered in large oozing scabs that didn’t feel good. Washing was miserable. But you can get through anything for 6 weeks for such great results. I’d do it again in a heartbeat. Pain, discomfort, headache, better than surgery any day."
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Aldara (imiquimod) "After being perfectly healthy my entire life, used Aldara cream for 10 days on BC on chest. I thought it would be least invasive. After developing large "croissant" size growth of black on my chest, worsening fatigue, migraine, severe diarrhea, low grade fevers, red rash over arms and legs, large tennis ball size red swollen growth on shoulder, and dizziness was admitted to hospital. At this point, I was told later, near death. I spent 3 days in isolation, seen by infectious disease specialist, internal medicine, gastroenterologist. Dx: recurrent C-dif bowel infection-Colitis, MRSA infection, severe anemia. Received 2 blood transfusions, iron, upper scope of GI tract, MRI of brain, chest xray, multiple blood workups. Anemic blood level of 7 (normal blood level is 14). Weight loss at 20 pounds. This drug was SYSTEMIC in my body, and nearly ended my life. Do NOT take the medication. My new dermatologist stated he will never prescribe it again after my experience."
"I am not going to sugar coat this for you, It is a painfully itchy, sleepless, process. Not for the faint at heart. Put on your big girl panties and take it like a woman cause it doesn't get better until the 6th week when you're all done. And if you have the guts to start all over and treat other areas then you are Super woman. It turns your cells into red blistering raw looking meat that is horrible to look at and worse to feel. But getting rid of the cancer cells is all that matters here. So do it, but be prepared to take time off if needed and be prepared to be miserable."
Aldara (imiquimod) "For 18 months I had a sore on my nose that would bleed scab than disappear, finally I had it checked (I should have known better, have family history of skin cancer) came back as a BCC. I'm now 5 weeks into my use of Aldara. for the first 3 weeks didn't really have any signs of it doing to much well now at week 5, my nose is hard scab like and a lot bigger area than I had thought. I wouldn't say its sore just uncomfortable and itchy at times. I guess once completed and healed time will tell if it completely worked, my doctor gives it an 80% chance and if not, its surgery for me. I hope this isn't all for nothing but feel it has been worth the chance and do feel that it has done its job well, so far so good. I'm in AUS and cost was $50."
Aldara (imiquimod) "I'm now 82 after 4 surgeries on my face I was given Aldara ..it may make big red ugly areas but with patience it does the job. You may think you just have a small area that is affected but wow..it's usually a larger area than you think. That's why I think it's better that doing the MOH's surgery."
Aldara (imiquimod) "The side effects of this cream were bad. Very painful sinus, swelling of throat and inside mouth, continuous cough on chest, headache (don't usually suffer headaches, dizziness). May be good for some people but not me. (I am 74)."
"I am using Aladara on 6 sites and would not recommend any more than that. It is about my 4th use of the drug and apart from a slight flu like symptoms when I first started I have suffered no general side effects. I am quite active and still feel energetic enough to run, cycle and play tennis as well as DIY! However the lesions are something else. To give reassurance to anyone using it for the first time the reaction on the skin can be quite alarming BUT is perfectly normal and shows it is working. Do read the leaflet. My neck and behind my ears have reacted severely with heavy scabbing some weeping and painful at night. It is a chore applying and washing off but do persevere. It will all heal within a week of stopping."
Aldara (imiquimod) "I had BCC on my nose. I had been misdiagosed and by the time a biopsy was done the surgeon said he could do MOHs surgery but it would require removing a thumb nail size portion of my nose, using parts of my ear to reconstruct the nose and also skin grafts. He offered the Aldara option to shrink the tumor. He said that the cream would turn my nose red. I applied the Aldara cream every night for 6 weeks as directed. It was absolutely far more than turning my nose red. Fatigue, headaches, bright red nose that looked as though my nose was one big cold sore. I went into quarantine for six weeks. At times I felt I could not continue. Some how I did. If wish there were a place to post pictures of my nose during Aldara treatment. I went back for the MOH's surgery. It only took two scrapings to remove cancer. I would choose the Aldara option should I ever be given the choice. It was miserable but I would still take it over the surgery option."
"I had a basal cell carcinoma on my face, right under my left eye. I had surgery to remove it but it came back. The Imiquimod cream did the trick. It never came back and I'm writing this 4 years after the fact."
Aldara (imiquimod) "Aldara usage for BCC gave me severe side effects, hospitalization, systemic penetration to my body. Nearly died. DO NOT use this drug. I was forever changed, at a young age. There are so many better alternatives."
"Was instructed to use Imiquimod only three times a week for basal cell on my nose. Wait until sores appeared and then resolved. Use for three months. There were no negative side effects and it worked well. I am using cream again on another spot on my face and I believe the cancer has disappeared. Will see Dr. in two weeks."
Aldara (imiquimod) "I started using the Aldara cream on the 29th of June after being diagnosed with a Basal Cell Carcinoma on my nose. It’s now been 5 weeks of use and the area is sore, red, crusty and oozing which is exactly what should be happening. I still have another week of use but so far my doctor has been happy with my progress and said that the worse the area of the cancer cells looks after use, the better."
Aldara (imiquimod) "I had a BCC on my ear, and had it treated with radiotheraphy. It came back. I then had it cut out with a skin graft. It came back. I then treated it with Aldara, but for not as long as recommended, and that worked for about 6 months, but it returned about a year ago. The Dr. indicated that the next step was surgery to remove part of my ear. I gave it another good dose for the full recommended term with Aldara, and it/s been clear since then. I believe I should have used Aldara from the start, and avoided radiotheraphy and an operation, plus a lot of cost. I've had no side effects, and have used it on other BCC with no problems."
Aldara (imiquimod) "I had a small dot on my chest and a penny sized one on my side. The dermatology consultant told me to use aldara on the two areas but only once daily for five days then two day break. Leave on for 8 hours then wash off. She then said she would see me in 4 months. I was a bit surprised she didn't want to see me during treatment but thought the aldara must be good at doing its job. How wrong could I be. Within one week of using it the rest of my chest erupted into large red sores with lots of little red spots all over it. I didn't know if this was normal as nothing much was discussed at appointment. I continued to use the cream but everyday was more and more horrific. The sores were blistering and bleeding and oozing fluid not to mention red raw and itchy. By the end of the second week I could not tolerate any more so I stopped using it and tried to contact the dermatology department which wasn't interested unless I had another referral from my doctor."
"Applying it once a day every day for five days is easier than I at first thought. Luckily the sites are on my shoulder blade area so I can reach them. Had they been in the middle or lower down I would not be able to apply the cream. After a few days the skin turned to sore welts which crusted. It is uncomfortable sleeping sometimes too. Last week (after two full weeks of treatment) I had to miss a day's application because the sore were too painful. I still have many more weeks to continue and I really want to stop, but I shall persist."
"Using this for basal call carcinoma treatment. Used it for a couple of small areas initially with little problems. Have been using it on a larger spot now, and have developed quite significant flu like symptoms. Have tried to push through them, but they're getting worse to the point of needing to stop the cream. Extremely fatigued and achy, which is just not me. I work out an hour plus several days a week and am only able to struggle through maybe a half work out. It also caused a lot of redness and sores at the site of use, but I can manage that. The good news is it does seem to work on the basal cells."
"I first used this on my nose and cheek. I had a pretty strong reaction which caused my eye to swell a little. I checked with the PA and decided to continue the medicine despite the discomfort. Next, I used it on my forehead and chest. I did not have a reaction on the forehead, but had a strong reaction on my chest. By that, I mean, there were lots of red bumps which hurt and were itchy. I will stick with it though. It beats having more surgeries to remove the cancer."
"I just finished my 2nd 6 week course of imiquimod for BCC on my scalp. I had had 2 mohs surgeries and the cancer kept coming back in nearby areas. After seeing multiple doctors, someone suggested imiquimod as an alternative to major surgery or errivedge. It seems to be working but it takes time when you finish for the skin to fully heal and a scan or biopsy will need to be done to determine true results. I did not have any severe adverse effects as others have mentioned. I used the cream on a 1” x 2” area and had red sores which itched but otherwise tolerable. My hair did not fall out which was good news. I have superficial as well as nodule bcc. IF you can tolerate this cream it is well worth a try before going the surgery route. It took months for any doctor to suggest it to me. Most people have good reactions to this cream if you read the studies that are online. Good luck."
"I have used this medicine to treat presumed basal cell carcinoma as well as other areas of skin that appear to be sun-damaged and am absolutely thrilled with the result. Yes, during treatment, the area of skin being treated can look bad but it has been worth it. I just finished a treatment on my forehead and left ear and now have perfect new, smooth skin after the scabs feel off. I usually under-go a 4 week regime with 5 days on and 2 days off. I've experienced weepy treatment areas and sometimes a slight tingling sensation around affected areas but nothing worse.This drug has truly saved me a lot of money and pain as I used to have to go through cut and stitch treatments."
"I'm starting my second week of six weeks for a spot on my chest. I thought it was an allergic reaction after the first night I took it. My entire chest is covered in red swollen, now crusty welts that are painful. The dr said those are all cancerous cells he couldn't see with the naked eye and it's good that it's bringing them out. Honestly, I don't know if I can make it 6 weeks. The pain is bad, I'm naseauss all day, I have achy muscles and feel tired. I have a high pain tolerance so for me to be so bothered is unusual. I know it's working, too well. I'll try and stick it out, what's my alternative? I also have to wear shirts that cover up to my neck it's so bad."
"I am in week 2 of 16! The affected area was believed to be small, but the cream has "discovered" other affected areas and now the blisters cover an area of 3cmx3cm on my forehead. They hurt, and look bad, I'm using a headscarf now to go out. Knowing that the alternative is surgery to remove an area that size, I think its worth it at the end, but the process is not fun at all. Am also experiencing fatigue and flu-like symptoms since the beginning."
Reviews may be edited to correct grammar/spelling or to remove inappropriate language and content. Reviews that appear to be created by parties with a vested interest are not published. This information is not intended to endorse any particular medication. While these reviews may be helpful, they are not a substitute for the expertise, knowledge, and judgement of healthcare professionals.
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Aldara (imiquimod) "Just finished week 6 of aldara for BCC.....now waiting for the scabs and redness to go away. 6 weeks was a long treatment, but well worth it instead of MOHS surgery. You MUST wash hands before and after applying and you MUST wash the application area(s) after 8 hours. I applied the cream on the tip of my nose but the entire nose reacted! I applied the cream Monday to Friday and took Saturday and Sunday off. Weeks 3 and 4 were the worst....lots of oozing and dark scabs. You can use makeup....start with a color corrector, then a concealer and/or foundation. I’m now waiting for the scabs and redness to go away. There are no instructions on what to do after the 6 weeks, so I’m still washing the area and putting moisturizer on it twice a day."