Imiquimod: Uses & Side Effects

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

How should I take Imiquimod?

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.

Precautions

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.

Side Effects

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.

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

Keyword: Imiquimod.

* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.