Aldara (imiquimod)

ALDARA cream is indicated for the topical treatment of external genital warts and perianal warts (condyloma acuminata). Each sachet contains 250mg of cream and is for use as a single application

Active Ingredients od Aldara
Imiquimod 5% w/w cream

How Does Aldara Work?
External genital and perianal warts are cause by a virus called Human Papilloma Virus. These wart-like growths are oftentimes referred to as condyloma acuminata. While Aldara itself has not been demonstrated to have any of its own antiviral activity, Aldara cream is an immune response modifier that stimulates the body’s own immune response system and helps the body fight this virus. It may do this via the induction of cytokines like alpha-interferon. Alpha-interferon is a complex compound normally produced by the human body that does have potent antiviral activity.

How Effective Is Aldara?
In a large clinical trial 50% of patients had complete clearing of their warts. The mean time to complete wart clearing was 10 weeks.

How Quickly Does Aldara Work?
Aldara cream can effectively clear genital warts as quickly as 4 weeks, although the average time to healing is 10 weeks and may take as long as 16 weeks. Results vary from person to person.

How Do I Use Aldara Cream?

  • Wash hands and open a new packet of Aldara cream just before bedtime.
  • Apply a thin layer of cream on the wart(s).
  • Rub the cream in until it vanishes.
  • Discard the open packet and wash hands.
  • Leave the cream on the wart(s) for 6 to 10 hours.
  • After 6 to 10 hours, wash the area where Aldara cream was applied with mild soap and water.

When Should I Use Aldara?
Typically, dosing is once a day, 3 days a week:

Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, or Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday

Apply Aldara cream at bedtime, after bathing, so you do not wash off the cream. Treatment with Aldara cream should continue until the warts are completely gone, or up to 16 weeks.
Can I Have Sex While Using Aldara Cream?
Sexual contact should be avoided while the cream is on the skin. If you decide to have sexual relations, apply Aldara cream after - not before - sexual activity. If you have already applied the cream, it should be washed off before sexual activity. In addition, Aldara cream may weaken condoms and diaphragms; therefore the cream should not be left on during sexual activity. The effect of Aldara cream on the transmission of genital warts is unknown.

Aldara Side Effects
Aldara cream doesn’t destroy healthy skin. Most people who use Aldara cream don’t complain of pain. One of the most common side effects is redness. This may be a sign that your immune system is working. Other common side effects are peeling of the skin, itching, flaking, and swelling around the warts.
ALDARA cream has not been evaluated for the treatment of internal genital warts and should not be used to treat urethral, intra-vaginal, cervical, rectal or intra-anal warts. Local reactions such as erythema, erosion, excoriation/flaking and oedema are expected and are believed to be the pharmacological response of the body’s immune system to ALDARA. Should an intolerable skin reaction occur, the cream should be removed by washing the area with mild soap and water. Treatment with ALDARA can be resumed after the skin reaction has moderated. The effect of ALDARA 5% cream on the transmission of genital/perianal warts is unknown. ALDARA 5% cream may weaken condoms and vaginal diaphragms. Therefore, concurrent use is not recommended.

Important Additional Information
Because Aldara cream doesn’t cure Human Papilloma Virus, the cause of genital and perianal warts, new warts may form during treatment.

Aldara cream may weaken condoms and diaphragms, so sexual contact should be avoided while the cream is on the skin.

How Aldara cream affects the spread of genital warts to a partner is not known.

A woman who is or becomes pregnant while using Aldara cream should notify her health care provider immediately.

Do not use Aldara to treat internal (inside the vagina or anus) warts.

Skin color changes to the application site have also been reported.

Do not cover warts with bandages or other closed dressings.

Avoid using overly large amounts of cream.

A thin layer that completely covers each wart is enough.
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Johns Hopkins patient information

Copyright 1996-2014 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 16.02.
Revision date: June 18, 2011
Last revised: by Sebastian Scheller, MD, ScD

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