How should I use imiquimod topical?
Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Use the medicine exactly as directed.
Do not take by mouth. Topical medicine is for use only on the skin.
Using too much imiquimod topical or using it for too long can increase your risk of severe skin reactions. Do not use two different forms of imiquimod topical on the same treatment area.
Read and carefully follow any Instructions for Use provided with your medicine. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you do not understand these instructions.
Wash your hands before and after applying imiquimod. Also wash the skin to be treated and allow it to dry for at least 10 minutes before applying the medicine.
Apply the cream in a thin layer and rub in completely. Use at bedtime and leave the medicine on for 8 hours. In the morning, wash the skin with water and a mild soap. Do not cover treated skin with any type of plastic bandaging (you may use cotton gauze). Wear only cotton underwear when treating genital warts.
How often and how long you use imiquimod topical will depend on the condition you are treating.
- Aldara is usually applied 2 times per week for 16 weeks.
- Zyclara is usually applied once daily for 2 weeks, followed by 2 weeks without treatment.
- Aldara is usually applied 3 times per week for 16 weeks.
- Zyclara is usually applied once daily for up to 8 weeks.
Superficial basal cell carcinoma:
- Aldara is usually applied 5 times per week for 6 weeks. Apply the cream to the treatment area and surrounding skin, and rub in completely.
Use this medicine for the full prescribed length of time, even if your symptoms quickly improve.
Imiquimod topical is not a cure for genital warts. You may still spread this condition to others through vaginal, anal, or oral sex. You also may develop new lesions during treatment with imiquimod topical.
Call your doctor if the condition you are treating with imiquimod does not improve, or if it gets worse.
Your doctor may tell you to stop using imiquimod topical for several days if you have a skin reaction to this medicine. Even if you have skipped some of your doses, do not add time to the total number of weeks you use imiquimod topical (2 weeks for actinic keratitis, 8 weeks for genital warts).
Your doctor will need to check your skin on a regular basis. If you have superficial basal cell carcinoma, you may need a skin biopsy after you have completed your 5-week treatment with imiquimod topical.
Store at room temperature. Do not freeze. Store the pump in an upright position. Keep each packet unopened until you are ready to use it.