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This medication is used to treat certain types of growths on the skin. These are precancerous growths (actinic keratoses) and warts on the outside of the genitals/anus. Treating these conditions can decrease complications from them. Imiquimod belongs to a group of drugs called immune response modifiers. It is believed to work by helping to activate your immune system to fight these abnormal skin growths. This product is not recommended for use on children under 12 years of age unless specifically directed by your doctor.
How to use imiquimod topical
Read the Patient Information Leaflet if available from your pharmacist before you start using imiquimod and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Use this medication on the skin only. Apply this medication to the affected area(s) as directed by your doctor, usually just before you go to sleep for the night. If you are using the single-use packets, use a new packet for each dose. If you are using the pump, prime the pump as directed before using it for the first time.
Before applying, wash your hands and the area to be treated with mild soap and water. Dry the area well. Apply a thin layer of medication on the affected area(s) as directed and rub in. Wash your hands with soap and water after each application. Do not cover the treated area with bandages or waterproof coverings. However, you may cover the area with cotton gauze or wear cotton underwear if treating the genital area. Leave the cream on overnight, usually for about 8 hours if treating actinic keratoses or basal cell carcinoma, or 6 to 10 hours for warts. Do not shower or bathe during this time. In the morning, wash the treated area with soap and water to remove the cream. Do not leave imiquimod cream on longer than prescribed.
The dosage and length of treatment is based on your medical condition and response to treatment. When treating actinic keratoses, this medication is usually applied twice a week for 16 weeks. When treating superficial basal cell carcinoma, this medication is usually applied 5 times a week for 6 weeks. When treating warts, this medication is usually applied 3 times a week for up to 16 weeks. Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, it may help to mark your calendar.
Do not apply this medication in the eyes, nose, mouth, rectum, or vagina. If you get this medication in those areas, flush with plenty of water. If irritation occurs, contact your doctor right away.
Tell your doctor if your condition lasts or gets worse, or if new growths appear during treatment.