Aldara

Generic Name: Imiquimod

  • What is Aldara?

    Aldara is a topical cream (applied directly on the skin) that is used to treat actinic keratosis on your face or scalp or to treat superficial basal cell carcinoma. Aldara is also used to treat warts on or around your genitals or anus. New warts can develop during therapy, as Aldara is not a cure.

  • What is the most important information I should know about Aldara?

    Aldara is for external use only. Do not use it in or near your mouth, eyes, nose, or inside your vagina. If you get the cream in your mouth or eyes, rinse the area well with water immediately.

    Aldara can cause local inflammatory reactions, including redness, swelling, erosions, ulcerations, drainage, flaking, scaling, dryness, scabbing, crusting, or skin color changes. Aldara can also cause "flu-like" symptoms, including tiredness, fever, nausea, muscle pain, or stiffness. Tell your doctor immediately if you are bothered by any of these symptoms.

    Do not expose your treated skin area(s) to the sun. If you cannot avoid this, use sunscreen or wear protective clothing if you go outside during daylight while you are using Aldara. If you have a sunburn, wait until it fully recovers before you start this medicine.

  • Who should not take Aldara?

    Do not use Aldara if you are allergic to it or any of its ingredients.

  • What should I tell my doctor before I take the first dose of Aldara?

    Tell your doctor about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Aldara. Also, talk to your doctor about your complete medical history, especially if you have immune system problems or other skin problems.

  • What is the usual dosage?

    The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your doctor uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your doctor may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your doctor's approval.

    Actinic Keratosis

    Adults: Apply a thin layer to the affected area(s) twice a week, for 16 weeks.

    Superficial Basal Cell Carcinoma

    Adults: Apply a thin layer to the affected area(s) 5 times a week, for 16 weeks.

    Genital or Anal Warts

    Adults and adolescents ≥12 years: Apply a thin layer to the affected area(s) 3 times a week, for 16 weeks.

  • How should I take Aldara?

    Apply Aldara exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Apply Aldara just before your bedtime. Wash the affected area(s) with mild soap and water, and allow the area to dry for at least 10 minutes. Wash your hands, and rub a thin layer of the cream into your skin. Wash your hands after application. Leave the cream on the treated area for the amount of time prescribed by your doctor, and do not bathe or get the area wet. After the right amount of time has passed, wash the treated area with mild soap and water (about 8 hours after Aldara application, or 6-10 hours after the application for genital warts).

  • What should I avoid while taking Aldara?

    Do not use Aldara in or near your mouth, eyes, nose, or inside your vagina.

    Do not cover the treated area with bandages or other closed dressings.

    Do not excessively expose your skin to the sun, sunlamps, or tanning beds.

    Do not have sexual contact including genital, anal, or oral sex when Aldara is on your genitals or the skin around your anus. Aldara can weaken condoms and vaginal diaphragms.

  • What are possible food and drug interactions associated with Aldara?

    No significant interactions have been reported with Aldara at this time. However, always tell your doctor about any medicines you take, including over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

  • What are the possible side effects of Aldara?

    Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this drug.

    Side effects may include: blisters, burning sensation, changes in your skin color, dry skin, fever, "flu-like" symptoms, hard or thickening of your skin, headache, itching, skin breakdown, skin crusting or scabbing, skin drainage, skin flaking or scaling, skin redness, skin ulceration, sores, swelling, tiredness, vaginal swelling

  • Can I receive Aldara if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

    The effects of Aldara during pregnancy and breastfeeding are unknown. Tell your doctor immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

  • What should I do if I miss a dose of Aldara?

    If you miss a dose of Aldara, skip the one you missed and return to your regular dosing schedule. Do not apply two doses at once.

  • How should I store Aldara?

    Store in the refrigerator or at room temperature. Do not freeze.