Aldara

(imiquimod)

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Treats genital and anal warts, skin with long-term sun damage, and certain skin cancers.

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Our bottom line

Works well for many skin conditions but it can cause irritation if you're not careful.

Lowest price near you
  • Lowest price with coupon
    $26.00
Quick facts about Aldara
  • Drug class: Dermatologic
  • Rx status: Prescription only
  • Generic status: Lower-cost generic available (imiquimod)

Upsides

  • First choice treatment for genital and anal warts.
  • Is a good option if you prefer treating warts privately at home rather than getting in-office procedures.
  • Is a safe option in people who have had organ transplants.
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What to expect from Aldara, on one page

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Downsides

  • Because you will have to wash off Aldara (imiquimod) after a certain amount of time, you will need to keep track of time and be careful not to leave Aldara (imiquimod) on too long or not long enough.
  • Aldara (imiquimod) doesn't work as fast as lasers or surgery for warts.
  • Is not a first choice for superficial basal cell carcinoma, a type of skin cancer.
  • It can be very irritating to normal skin.
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What to expect from Aldara, on one page

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How it works

It's not exactly clear how Aldara (imiquimod) works but it activates the immune system to fight off cancer, warts and skin damage.

Quick facts about Aldara
  • Drug class: Dermatologic
  • Rx status: Prescription only
  • Generic status: Lower-cost generic available (imiquimod)

Used for

Dosage forms

  • Cream
Tried Aldara? Write a review!

Prices and coupons

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What to expect when you take Aldara (imiquimod) for Skin conditions

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  • First few hoursHours
    First few daysDays
    First few weeksWeeks
    First few monthsMonths
  • Effectiveness
  • Starts to kick in
    Full effects
  • First few hoursHours
    First few daysDays
    First few weeksWeeks
    First few monthsMonths
  • Possible side effects
  • Itching
  • Burning
  • Redness
  • Flaking
  • Headache
  • Sinus infection
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Side effect rates for Aldara (imiquimod)

From 436 clinical trials of Aldara when taken for actinic keratosis
  • Application site reaction
    33%33%
    14%14%
  • Itching
    20%20%
    8%8%
  • Upper respiratory tract infection
    15%15%
    12%12%
  • Sinus infection
    7%7%
    6%6%
  • Burning
    6%6%
    2%2%
  • Headache
    5%5%
    3%3%
  • Skin cancer
    4%4%
    2%2%
  • Diarrhea
    3%3%
    1%1%
  • Bleeding
    3%3%
  • Stinging
    3%3%
    1%1%
  • Pain
    3%3%
    1%1%
  • Eczema
    2%2%
    1%1%
  • Hardening of the skin
    2%2%
    1%1%
  • Tenderness
    2%2%
    1%1%
  • Irritation
    2%2%
0%
10%
20%
30%
40%
50%
60%
70%
80%
Where we got our data »

The placebo bar shows how common a side effect was for people taking a sugar pill instead of Aldara.

Aldara (imiquimod)
Placebo

People taking Aldara felt side effect more

People taking Aldara felt side effect less

No difference

Risks and Warnings for Aldara (imiquimod)

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  • Severe irritation of the skin can occur after a few applications of Aldara (imiquimod). If you experience swelling, bleeding, blistering, or other skin irritation let your doctor know right away. You may have to stop using Aldara (imiquimod) until your skin heals.