Generic Name: imiquimod (Topical route)
Commonly used brand name(s):
In the U.S.
Available Dosage Forms:
Therapeutic Class: Immune Modulator
Imiquimod is used to treat external warts around the genital and rectal areas called condyloma acuminatum. It is not used on warts inside the vagina, penis, or rectum. Imiquimod is also used to treat a skin condition of the face and scalp called actinic keratoses. Imiquimod can also be used to treat certain types of skin cancer called superficial basal cell carcinoma (sBCC).
It works by aiding the immune system to help protect the body from viruses that cause warts. The medicine does not fight the viruses that cause warts directly. It does help to relieve and control wart production. It is not known how imiquimod helps actinic keratoses or skin cancer.
This medicine is available only with your doctor's prescription.
In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For this medicine, the following should be considered:
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.
Studies of this medicine have been done only in adult patients, and there is no specific information comparing use of imiquimod in children up to 12 years of age with use in other age groups. Actinic keratosis and basal cell carcinoma usually do not occur in children.
Many medicines have not been studied specifically in older people. Therefore, it may not be known whether they work exactly the same way they do in younger adults or if they cause different side effects or problems in older people. There is no specific information comparing use of imiquimod in the elderly with use in other age groups. However, older adults may be more sensitive to the effects of imiquimod.
|All Trimesters||C||Animal studies have shown an adverse effect and there are no adequate studies in pregnant women OR no animal studies have been conducted and there are no adequate studies in pregnant women.|
There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.
Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. Tell your healthcare professional if you are taking any other prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicine.
Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.
The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of this medicine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
To apply the medicine:
The dose of this medicine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of this medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.
The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.
If you miss a dose of this medicine, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.
Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Do not refrigerate. Keep from freezing.
Keep out of the reach of children.
Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
If you notice severe skin irritation or flu-like symptoms (diarrhea, fatigue, fever, headache, or muscle pain), check with your doctor. It may be necessary for you to reduce the number of times a week that you use the medicine or to stop using the medicine for a short time until your skin is less irritated or your flu-like symptoms disappear.
For treatment of warts on the skin outside of the genital or rectal areas (condyloma acuminatum), avoid having genital, oral, or anal sex while the medicine is on your skin. Make sure you wash the cream off your skin before you engage in any sexual activity. Also, the medicine contains oils that can weaken latex (rubber) condoms, diaphragms, or cervical caps causing them not to work properly to prevent pregnancy.
Imiquimod is not a cure for genital warts. New warts may develop during treatment with imiquimod.
Imiquimod will not keep your from spreading genital warts to other people.
Do not use any other skin product on the same skin area on which you use this medicine, unless directed otherwise by your doctor.
Do not share your medicine with others, even if you think that they have the same condition you have.
Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:More common
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:More common
Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
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