Aldara 5% cream is used to treat genital warts. It is an immunomodulator, meaning that it helps the body’s immune system to get rid of warts caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). The cream is applied directly to the warts.
What is Aldara?
- Aldara cream contains the active ingredient imiquimod
- Imiquimod treats HPV that causes genital warts
- Aldara cream should only be applied to the wart, as it can cause damage if it comes into contact with healthy skin
- Treatment generally lasts for 8 to 12 weeks
- It is important to read the patient leaflet for a full list of side effects and cautions.
How Does Aldara Work?
Aldara is an immune response modifier. It helps to relieve and control wart production caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV).
Genital warts are passed on through close sexual contact. The small lumps can develop on the genitals and around the anus.
When applied to the wart, Aldara causes inflammatory cells to infiltrate the wart and then causes death of the cells affected by the wart. This leads to the wart gradually resolving.
How do I take Aldara?
Care must be taken when using Aldara cream. Read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully before you begin.
The cream should be applied directly to the warts, with care taken not to get any cream on the healthy surrounding tissue. If you accidentally apply it to healthy skin, you should wash the area with soap and water to remove the cream.
Aldara should only be applied to external genital warts.
Always wash your hands before and after applying Aldara.
It is best to avoid sexual contact until the warts have completely resolved.
What is the dosage of Aldara?
Aldara contains the active ingredient imiquimod, with a concentration of 12.5mg per sachet.
A common regimen for Aldara treatment is to apply it to the warts 3 times a week until the warts have gone. This may occur in as little as 4 weeks, but for many people it may take up to 8 to 12 weeks.
If you forget to apply it, simply apply the cream as soon as you remember. However, Aldara should not be applied more than once in a day.
What are the side effects of Aldara?
Like all medications, Aldara can have some side effects. The most common side effects include:
- Localised skin irritation including pain, itching, rash, swelling, scabbing, or ulceration
- Flu-like symptoms
- Muscle aches and pains
- Feeling tired
- Nausea (feeling sick).
These side effects are likely to settle down, but if they persist or become troublesome you should speak to your doctor for further advice.
If you have a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) including breathlessness, lip or tongue swelling, call 999 immediately.
Aldara may not be suitable for everyone. You should tell your doctor if you:
- Have an autoimmune disease
- Are immunosuppressed
- Are a man who has not been circumcised
- Have ever had an allergic reaction to Aldara or any other medication
- Are pregnant, trying to conceive, or breastfeeding.
Some medications can interact with Aldara. You may be advised that Aldara will not suit you if you already take:
- Immunosuppressant medications.