How does Aldara work?
Aldara is not an antiviral medicine in itself, but works by helping your body's own immune system to fight the virus that causes genital warts.
How to take Aldara
The treatment should be applied thinly to the affected areas three times a week (for example, on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday), before you go to bed, until the warts disappear. Aldara should not be applied more than once a day and there is no need to cover the area with a dressing.
Contact with other areas of skin, in particular the eyes, lips, and nostrils, should be avoided.
Aldara Cream should be washed from the skin before sexual activity, and it may weaken condoms and diaphragms, so different methods of contraception are recommended.
The treatment can be applied for up to a maximum of 16 weeks – for some patients, the warts will disappear after just four weeks. In general, though, approximately half of females who use Aldara find that it works within eight weeks, and half of males who use it find that it is successful within 12 weeks.
It's important to read the enclosed leaflet carefully before using Aldara.
Is Aldara suitable for me?
There are some situations where Aldara Cream should be used with caution or would not be recommended - , for example in patients who have an auto-immune condition, or who have had an organ transplant. If it doesn't work for you, talk to your doctor as a different treatment might be better.
Tell the doctor if you are taking any other medicines, either from your GP or purchased from a pharmacy. Aldara Cream may not be suitable or may need to be used with caution if you are taking some medicines which suppress the immune system. It will not be suitable if you are allergic to imiquimod, or any of the other ingredients.
What are the side effects of Aldara?
Like all medicines, Aldara Cream can cause side effects, although not everybody gets them. Side effects that are considered to be very common include skin redness, wearing away of the skin, swelling, or an itching or burning sensation. These are usually mild and would be expected to resolve within two weeks of stopping treatment. Other less common side effects can include headaches, flu-like symptoms, dizziness, and erection difficulties. If you experience these you should stop using Aldara Cream and talk to your doctor.
For a full list of potential side effects and other important information, please read the patient leaflet provided in the pack before starting any course of treatment. The leaflet can also be viewed online here.