imiquimod - topical, Aldara (cont.)
HOW TO USE: Read the Patient Information Leaflet provided by your pharmacist before you start using imiquimod and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, consult your doctor or pharmacist.Use this medication on the skin only. Apply this medication to the affected area once a day as directed by your doctor. The number of times and the length of time you apply this medication depend on the specific skin problem that is being treated. When treating actinic keratoses, apply twice a week for a full 16 weeks. When treating superficial basal cell carcinoma, apply 5 times a week for a full 6 weeks. When treating warts, apply 3 times a week for up to 16 weeks. If you have any questions about which days to apply this medication or how often or how long to use this medication, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.Do not apply this medication into the eyes, nose, mouth, rectum, or vagina. If you get this medication in those areas, flush with plenty of water. If irritation occurs, contact your doctor immediately.Use this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, use a calendar to mark the days you will be applying the medication each week. Before applying the medication, wash the area to be treated with soap and water, and dry thoroughly. Use a new packet of cream for each use. Apply as directed by your doctor just before going to bed. Wash your hands with soap and water after each application. Do not cover the treated area with bandages or other waterproof coverings. Covering the area with cotton gauze, or cotton underwear if treating the genital area, is permitted. Leave the cream on overnight, usually for about 8 hours if treating actinic keratoses or basal cell carcinoma, or 6-10 hours for warts or as directed. In the morning, wash the treated area with soap and water to remove the cream. Do not bathe or wet the treated area before the prescribed application time has passed. Do not leave imiquimod cream on longer than prescribed by your doctor. Throw away any partly used packets of medication.Tell your doctor if your condition persists or worsens or if new growths appear during treatment.
SIDE EFFECTS: Treatment area reactions may include redness, swelling, itching, burning, pain/tenderness, thickening/hardening of the skin, peeling/flaking/scabbing/crusting, or leaking a clear fluid. Also, changes in skin color may occur and may not go away. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.If the skin reaction is severe (bleeding, formation of sores/blisters/ulcers), imiquimod may need to be temporarily stopped so that the skin can heal. Follow your doctor's directions.Flu-like symptoms (such as fever, tiredness, muscle aches), runny/stuffy nose, cough, diarrhea, nausea, and back pain may also occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.Tell your doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: swollen glands (lymph nodes), new unusual skin growths/changes, chest pain, trouble urinating.A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.In the US -Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 4/16/2014
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
Need help identifying pills and medications?
Back to Medications Index