Aldara

Drug List

Aldara

Drug Name

Aldara (Imiquimod topical)

Manufactured By

Valeant Pharmaceuticals North America LLC

Drug Savings

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Treats Disease/Condition

Uses

This medication is used to treat certain types of growths on the skin. These are precancerous growths (actinic keratoses), a certain type of skin cancer (superficial basal cell carcinoma), and warts on the outside of the genitals/anus. Treating these conditions can decrease complications from them. Imiquimod belongs to a group of drugs called immune response modifiers. It is believed to work by helping to activate your immune system to fight these abnormal skin growths. This product is not recommended for use on children under 12 years of age unless specifically directed by your doctor.

How To Use

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 right away. 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.

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. Tell your doctor right away 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.

Drug Interactions

The effects of some drugs can change if you take other drugs or herbal products at the same time. This can increase your risk for serious side effects or may cause your medications not to work correctly. These drug interactions are possible, but do not always occur. Your doctor or pharmacist can often prevent or manage interactions by changing how you use your medications or by close monitoring. To help your doctor or pharmacist give you the best care, be sure to tell your doctor or pharmacist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products) before starting treatment with this product. While using this product, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any other medicines you are using without your doctor's approval. Keep a list of all the products you use. Share the list with your doctor and pharmacist to reduce your risk for serious medication problems.

In Case of Overdose

This medicine may be harmful if swallowed. If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222

In Case of Missed Dose

If you miss a dose, use it as soon as you remember. If you do not remember until the next day, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule in the evening. Do not double the dose to catch up.

Storage

Refrigerate or store the US product at room temperature between 39-77 degrees F (4-25 degrees C). Store the Canadian product at room temperature between 59-77 degrees F (15-25 degrees C). Avoid freezing. Discard any medication that has been frozen. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medicines away from children and pets.