Boots WebMD Partners in Health
Return To Boots

Medicines & treatments centre

Terms Of Use

IMIQUIMOD

Brand Name(s) : Aldara
Warnings
Uses
Side Effects
Precautions
Interactions
Overdose

IMIQUIMOD WARNINGS

Imiquimod should be used with caution in:

  • Patients who have previously used the same or similar cream
  • Patients with problems with the immune system
  • Inflammatory conditions of the skin
  • After an organ transplant
  • Uncircumcised men with warts on their foreskin
  • Other inflammatory conditions of the skin
  • Low levels of one or more types of cells in the blood
  • Pregnancy

It should not be used in:

  • Allergy (hypersensitivity) to any of the ingredients
  • Warts that are inside the back passage (anus) and sexual organs (genitals)

Also see list of precautions and interactions

STORAGE

Store imiquimod below 25°C. Do not re-use sachets once they have been opened.

IMIQUIMOD USES

What is it used for?

  • Imiquimod is used to treat warts (condylomata acuminata) on the surface of the sexual organs (genitals) and around the back passage (anus). It is also used to treat a form of slow-growing skin cancer (superficial basal cell carcinoma) and areas of skin on the face or scalp that turn either flat and scaly or raised, rough, hard and warty due to too much sun (actinic keratoses).
  • It is used to stimulate your immune system to destroy the virus that causes warts, the cancer cells and the damaged skin cells in the rough areas caused by sun damage (actinic keratoses).
  • In general this drug is applied onto the surface of the wart, skin cancer or rough area of sun-damaged skin (actinic keratoses).
  • Benefits of being on this drug can include:
    Removal of certain types of warts, and decreased risk of some forms of skin cancer.

Listed below are the typical uses of imiquimod:

  • Warts (condylomata acuminata) on the surface of the sexual organs (genitals) or around the back passage (anus)
  • Small areas of a slow-growing type of skin cancer called superficial basal cell carcinoma
  • Areas of sun-damaged skin on the face or scalp that become either flat and scaly or raised, rough, hard and warty (actinic keratoses)

On occasion your doctor may prescribe this medicine to treat a condition not on the above list.

HOW TO USE/TAKE

How often do I take it?

  • Imiquimod should be taken exactly as your doctor tells you.
  • Use this medication for the duration of the prescription in order to get the most benefit from it.
  • Remember to use it at the same time each day - unless specifically told otherwise by your doctor.
  • Certain medical conditions may require different dosage instructions as directed by your doctor.

What dose?

  • Dosage is based on your medical condition, response to therapy, and use of certain interacting medicines.

Do I need to avoid anything?

  • It is unlikely that imiquimod will have any affect on your ability to drive or operate machinery. Avoid contact with the eyes, lips, nostrils and areas of healthy normal skin. Do not use on broken skin and do not cover the treated area with a plaster or wound dressing. Treated areas should be protected from sunlight. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details.

When can I stop?

  • Always complete the full course as prescribed by your doctor.

IMIQUIMOD SIDE EFFECTS

Treatment for warts on the surface of the sexual organs (genitals):

  • Redness is very common
  • Peeling, flakiness and swelling of the skin is very common
  • Hardening under the skin is very common
  • Small open sores are very common
  • Itching and a burning sensation in treated areas is very common
  • Headache is common

Treatment for skin cancer (basal cell carcinoma):

  • Slight itching of the treated area is very common
  • Pins and needles is common
  • Small swollen areas in the skin is common
  • Pain is common
  • Burning is common
  • Irritation, redness or rash is common
  • Bleeding is common
  • Swollen glands are common
  • Back pain is common

Treatment for sun-damaged skin (actinic keratosis):

  • Slight itching of the treated area is very common
  • Burning is common
  • Pain is common
  • Irritation or redness is common
  • Headache is common
  • Loss of appetite is common
  • Feeling sick is common
  • Muscle and joint pain are common
  • Tiredness is common

If any of these persist or you consider them severe then inform doctor or pharmacist.

Tell your doctor immediately if you develop any of the following symptoms:

  • A skin reaction becomes too uncomfortable
  • Pus or other signs of infection
  • Difficulty in passing urine

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.

A serious allergic reaction to this drug is unlikely, but seek immediate medical attention if it occurs. Symptoms of a serious allergic reaction include: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), 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.

The Yellow Card Scheme allows you to report suspected side effects from any type of medicine (which includes vaccines, herbals and over the counter medicines) that you are taking. It is run by the medicines safety watchdog called the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory agency (MHRA). Please report any suspected side effect on the Yellow Card Scheme website

IMIQUIMOD PRECAUTIONS

Before taking imiquimod, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to other immunomodulators; or if you have any other allergies.

This medication should not be used if you have certain medical conditions. Before using this medicine, consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have:

  • Allergy (hypersensitivity) to any of the ingredients
  • Warts that are inside the back passage (anus) and sexual organs (genitals)

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially any of the following:

  • Problems with your immune system
  • Inflammatory conditions of the skin
  • After an organ transplant
  • Uncircumcised men with warts on their foreskin
  • Low levels of one or more types of cells in your blood
  • Pregnancy

Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist that you are taking this medication.

Does alcohol intake affect this drug?

  • Alcohol is not known to affect this drug.

Other inflammatory conditions of the skin. Imiquimod should be used with caution in people with other inflammatory conditions of the skin as it may make them worse.

Problems with your immune system: Imiquimod should be used with caution in people with immune system problems as it may make them worse.

After organ transplantation. Imiquimod should be used with caution in people who have had an organ transplant as they may start to reject the organ.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding - please ensure you read the detailed information below

PREGNANCY

The safety of imiquimod has not been established during pregnancy. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any doubts or questions about this.

It is sensible to limit use of medication during pregnancy whenever possible. However, your doctor may decide that the benefits outweigh the risks in individual circumstances and after a careful assessment of your specific health situation.

If you have any doubts or concerns you are advised to discuss the medicine with your doctor or pharmacist.

BREAST FEEDING

It is not known whether imiquimod passes into breast milk. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any doubts or questions about this.

It is sensible to limit use of medication during breastfeeding whenever possible. However, your doctor may decide that the benefits outweigh the risks in individual circumstances and after a careful assessment of your specific health situation.

If you have any doubts or concerns you are advised to discuss the medicine with your doctor or pharmacist.

IMIQUIMOD INTERACTIONS

Your doctor or pharmacist may already be aware of any possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for them. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with them first.

This drug should not be used with the following medications because very serious, possibly fatal interactions may occur:

  • Caution is recommended in people that are taking drugs that suppress their immune system

If you are currently using any of these medications, tell your doctor or pharmacist before starting imiquimod.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all prescription and non-prescription/herbal products you may use.

This information does not contain all possible interactions. Therefore, before using imiquimod, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the products you use.

IMIQUIMOD OVERDOSE

If you swallow imiquimod, you may experience headache, muscle pain, fever and feel sick. If this occurs, contact your doctor or nearest casualty department as soon as possible.

If you think you, or someone you care for, might have accidentally taken more than the recommended dose of imiquimod or intentional overdose is suspected, contact your local hospital, GP or if in England call 111 or NHS Direct. In Scotland call NHS 24. In Wales, call NHS Direct Wales. In the case of medical emergencies, always dial 999.

MISSED DOSE

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.

Find a medication

Search by medication name for information on over-the-counter or prescription medications including side effects and interactions.
indicates detailed medicines information

Source: Selected from data included with permission and copyrighted by Boots UK Limited or TicTac Communications Ltd. This copyrighted material is sourced from a licensed data provider and is not for distribution, except as may be authorised by the applicable terms of use.
CONDITIONS OF USE: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgement of healthcare professionals. The information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse events, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of a particular medicine is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any medicine, changing any diet, or discontinuing any course of treatment.

Search for a medicine or treatment

Search by medicine name or treatment for information including side effects and interactions.

Ex. Simvastatin, Ibuprofen, Amitriptyline Hydrochlorine

Popular Slideshows & Tools on Boots WebMD

woman looking at pregnancy test
Early pregnancy symptoms
donut on plate
The truth about sugar addiction
womans toned abdomen
A workout for a toned tummy
79x79_less_is_more_with_exercise.jpg
Which exercises are safe?
hand extinguishing cigarette
13 best tips to stop smoking
Immune-boosting foods
The role of diet
79x79_not_good_for_you.jpg
18 secrets men want you to know
boy looking at broccoli
Quick tips for feeding picky eaters
hamburger and fries
A guide for beginners
salmon dinner
A diet to boost your mood & energy
polka dot dress on hangar
Lose weight without dieting