Medications and Drugs
Brand Names: Aldara, Zyclara
Generic Name: imiquimod topical (Pronunciation: i MI kwi mod TOP ik al)
What is imiquimod topical (Aldara, Zyclara)?
Imiquimod is an immune response modifier. Imiquimod topical is used to treat actinic keratosis (a condition caused by too much sun exposure) on the face and scalp.
Imiquimod topical (for the skin) is also used to treat a minor form of skin cancer called superficial basal cell carcinoma, when surgery would not be an appropriate treatment.
Imiquimod topical also treats genital warts that appear on the outside of the body, but this medicine is not a cure for genital warts. Imiquimod may be used in adults and children who are at least 12 years.
Imiquimod topical may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
What are the possible side effects of imiquimod topical (Aldara, Zyclara)?
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Wash off the medicine and call your doctor at once if you have a serious skin reaction such as severe itching, burning, oozing, bleeding, or skin changes where the medicine is applied.
Stop using imiquimod topical and call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as flu symptoms such as fever, chills, body aches, tired feeling, swollen glands.
When treating genital warts around the vagina, if you have severe swelling or urination problems, stop using imiquimod topical and call your doctor right away.
Less serious side effects may include:
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
What is the most important information I should know about imiquimod topical (Aldara, Zyclara)?
Using too much of this medicine, or using it for too long can increase your risk of severe skin reactions. Follow your doctor's instructions.
Do not use imiquimod topical on areas of broken, wounded, or burned skin. Wait until these conditions have healed before using imiquimod topical.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor if you have a weak immune system, an autoimmune disorder, graft-versus-host disease, or if you have recently received a bone marrow transplant or cord blood transplant.
When treating genital warts around the vagina, avoid getting the cream on the more sensitive inner layers of vaginal tissue. This could result in vaginal swelling or irritation and painful urination.
Avoid exposure to sunlight or tanning beds. Imiquimod topical can make you sunburn more easily. Wear protective clothing and use sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher) when you are outdoors.
Imiquimod topical is not a cure for genital warts and it may not keep you from spreading this condition to others through vaginal, anal, or oral sex. You may develop new lesions during treatment with imiquimod topical. For best results, keep using the medicine for the entire length of time prescribed by your doctor.
If you are treating the genital or rectal area with imiquimod topical, avoid sexual activity while the medicine is on your skin. Imiquimod topical can weaken the rubber that condoms or diaphragms are made out of. If you use a condom or diaphragm for birth control, these items could break if the rubber weakens and an unplanned pregnancy could result.
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.
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