Before using imiquimod, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: recent/unhealed surgery on the skin area to be treated, immune system problems (including HIV infection), a certain complication of bone marrow or some organ transplants (chronic graft-versus-host disease), autoimmune diseases (such as rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma, lupus).
This medication may make you more sensitive to the sun. Avoid prolonged sun exposure, tanning booths, and sunlamps. Use a sunscreen and wear protective clothing when outdoors.
Genital/anal warts are caused by a virus called human papillomavirus (HPV). Since imiquimod does not destroy the virus but only helps to eliminate the wart, new warts may form, even while you are being treated. You may also be able to infect any sexual partner who comes into contact with the areas of skin infected with HPV.
To reduce the risk of spreading HPV to others, always use effective barrier protections (such as latex or polyurethane condoms, dental dams) during all sexual activity. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details.
During treatment of genital/anal warts, avoid all sexual contact while the cream is on the skin. Condoms, dental dams, and diaphragms may be weakened by the cream, and therefore they may not work as well to prevent pregnancy or spreading of HPV or HIV.
During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
It is unknown whether this drug passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Treatment area reactions may include redness, swelling, itching, burning, pain/tenderness, thickening/hardening of the skin, peeling/flaking/scabbing/crusting, or leaking a clear fluid. Also, changes in skin color may occur and may not go away. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
If the skin reaction is severe (bleeding, formation of sores/blisters/ulcers), imiquimod may need to be temporarily stopped so that the skin can heal. Follow your doctor's directions.
Flu-like symptoms (such as fever, tiredness, muscle aches), runny/stuffy nose, cough, diarrhea, nausea, and back pain may also occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Tell your doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: swollen glands (lymph nodes), new unusual skin growths/changes, chest pain, trouble urinating.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
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Information expires June 2016.