Aldara (imiquimod) 5% cream is available to buy from The Independent Pharmacy Online Doctor service, following a free consultation, to treat external genital warts. To find out more about genital warts and see all the available treatments, see our Online Doctor Genital Warts page.
Aldara is licensed explicity for both genital and external anal warts. It is suitable for any number warts, those that are hard to touch or those that are soft and fleshy. Each box of 12 sachets provides 28 days (four weeks) treatment.
Aldara cream helps genital warts to disappear, usually within 4 months of treatment. Half the females who clear will do so in 8 weeks, half the males who clear will do so in 12 weeks but in some patients warts may clear as early as 4 weeks. Once genital warts have been treated using Aldara cream, they are less likely to reappear than without treatment.
Aldara cream contains the active ingredient Imiquimod in a 5% formulation. Imiquimod is primarily used to treat the viral infection (HPV) that causes genital warts. Aldara cream is manufactured by Meda Pharmaceuticals and is classified as a prescription only medicine. The cream comes packaged as individual sachets, each containing 250mg of Aldara cream. One pack contains twelve sachets of cream. This product is for cutaneous use only.
Genital warts are causes by the human papilloma virus (HPV). Imiquimod cream works to eradicate this virus by helping the body stimulate its own defence mechanisms With the help of imiquimod, the immune system releases chemicals to attack and kills viruses, such as HPV by preventing them from multiplying inside cells. As the HPV type 6 & 11 is killed, your genital warts they are causing will be cured.
Aldara cream should be applied THREE times a week. This could be Monday, Wednesday & Friday, or Tuesday, Thursday & Saturday or other similar combinations of days. You should always have a gap of at least one day inbetween applications.
Each application of Aldara cream should be carried out as follows:
1. Before going to bed, wash your hands and the treatment area with mild soap and water. Dry thoroughly.
2. Open a new sachet and squeeze some Aldara cream onto your fingertip.
3. Apply a thin layer of Aldara cream onto clean, dry wart area and rub gently into the skin until cream vanishes.
4. After application of the cream, throw away the opened sachet and wash hands with soap and water.
5. Leave Aldara cream on the warts for 6 to 10 hours. Do not shower or bathe during this time.
6. After 6 to 10 hours wash the area where Aldara cream was applied with mild soap and water.
Do not cover the warts or treated area with dressings or bandages during treatment.
One sachet contains enough cream to cover a wart area of 20 cm2 (approx. 3 square inches). Each sachet should be thrown away (including any leftover cream) after a single application. Use a new sachet for every day of treatment.
Men with warts under the foreskin should pull the foreskin back each day and wash underneath it.
Continue to use Aldara cream as instructed until your warts have completely gone. Do not use Aldara cream for more than 16 weeks in the treatment of each episode of warts. If your genital warts have not cleared after 16 weeks treatment with Aldara cream you should see your GP to discuss alternate treatment for your genital warts.
Aldara cream can cause some side effects during use due to the sensitivity of the skin you are applying it to. These side effects are generally not serious and should subside within around 2 weeks after you treatment is complete.
Side effects from using Aldara cream can include:
wearing away of the skin
flakiness and swelling
Hardening under the skin
small open sores
a crust that forms during healing
small bubbles under the skin
a burning sensation or pain in areas where you have applied Aldara cream.
Please read the information leaflet supplied with Aldara cream before use for a full list of side effects.
Please read the following warnings before using Aldara cream to ensure it is safe and effective for you.
- If you have open sores: do not start using Aldara cream until after the sores have healed.
- If you have internal warts: do not use Aldara cream in the urethra (the hole from which urine is passed), the vagina (birth canal), the cervix (internal female organ), or anywhere inside your anus (rectum). Do not apply Aldara internally.
- Aldara cream can weaken latex condoms and diaphragms. Additional contraception may be required. If you decide to have sexual relations while you still have warts, apply Aldara cream after - not before - sexual activity.
- Do not use Aldara cream without consulting your GP if you have problems with your immune system, either due to illness (e.g. HIV) or because of the medicines you are already taking.
- If applying the cream is uncomfortable or the area becomes uncomfortable during treatment, wash the cream of with mild soap and water. Allow the affected area to recover and then restart treatment.
Aldara cream contains imiquimod 5% as the active ingredient. This means there is 5mg of imiquimod in every 100mg of Aldara cream.
The cream also contains: isostearic acid, benzyl alcohol, cetyl alcohol, stearyl alcohol, white soft paraffin, polysorbate 60, sorbitan stearate, glycerol, methyl hydroxybenzoate (E218), propyl hydroxybenzoate (E216), xanthan gum, purified water.