* It is used to treat certain types of actinic keratoses on the face or scalp. Imiquimod cream is also used to treat superficial basal cell carcinoma.
Imiquimod (Trade names: Aldara, Zyclara, Beselna) is an immune response modifier, manufactured as a cream. It is used to treat certain types of actinic keratoses on the face or scalp. Imiquimod cream is also used to treat superficial basal cell carcinoma on the trunk, neck, arms, hands, legs, or feet and warts on the skin of the genital and anal areas. It works to increase inflammation, which destroys skin lesions. Imiquimod is generally most useful on areas where surgery or other treatments may be difficult, complicated or otherwise undesirable, especially the face and lower legs. However, inflammation and dermatitis can occur during use of imiquimod for genital warts and molluscum, while blisters, bloody dry eschar, pain and discomfort can occur when used to treat skin cancers.
Dosage varies depending on what Imiquimod is being used to treat. For actinic keratoses, it should be applied approximately once a day for twice a week; for basal cell carcinoma, it should be applied once a day five days a week; and for genital and anal warts, it should be applied once a day for 3 days a week. If you are using imiquimod cream to treat genital or anal warts, sexual contact should be avoided while the cream is on your skin. If Imiquimod works, areas treated with imiquimod will be come inflamed and will likely itch or burn, and be accompanies by burning, redness, ulceration (sores), scabbing, flaking and pain.
To use, apply a thin layer of the cream to the area being treated before bed. Rub the cream in until it disappears, and then wash your hands. After the treatment time specified by the doctor, remove the cream with soap and water.
Side effects may include flu-like symptoms may develop, such as fever, fatigue, headache, nausea, diarrhoea and muscle pain. Side effects are generally mild. However, if they are troublesome, notify your doctor. Side effects may also disappear after continued use. If you experience severe side effects or there is a skin breakdown or sores that have drainage, notify your doctor immediately.
Notes of Precaution
* Notify your doctor if you are allergic to imiquimod, any of the ingredients in imiquimod cream, or any other medications.
* While you are using Imiquimod, avoid exposure to sunlight as much as possible and to wear protective clothing, sunglasses, and sunscreen if you go outside during daylight hours.
* Imiquimod cream may cause changes in your skin color, although this should go away once you discontinue treatment.
* Imiquimod should be stored at room temperature and be kept out of the reach of children.