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Aldara (Imiquimod) 5% Cream for Genital Warts
Buy Aldara cream (imiquimod) online to treat genital warts caused by HPV — this treatment is suitable for both men and women, and is available on prescription in the UK.
There are lots of genital warts treatments available to cure the symptoms, and prevent them from getting worse. But did you know that Aldara genital warts cream is also sold online through The Independent Pharmacy after an easy online consultation with one of our doctors? When you’ve got genital warts, having to fork out for expensive treatments is the last thing you need – and collecting your prescription from the pharmacy can feel embarrassing. With better service and competitive prices, we offer a discreet, affordable service and next day delivery.
Treating genital warts with Aldara cream — what you need to know
Aldara (imiquimod) 5% cream is an effective topical treatment for external genital and perianal warts. Aldara is available to buy from the Online Doctor following a short, easy health questionnaire, as currently the treatment is available on a prescription-only basis in the UK.
When it comes to treating genital warts, The Independent Pharmacy offers patients complete confidentiality, fast & discreet delivery, and expert advice as well as the best prices on prescription treatments — both branded and generic.
Worried you might have warts? You may have noticed small growths and fleshy bumps around your penis, vagina, or anus that weren’t there before. Don’t worry — they are a common and largely harmless STD/viral skin infection caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV).
Treat your genital warts today with confidence with help from The Independent Pharmacy — to find out more about genital warts and see all the available treatments, see our Genital Warts page.
Read our genital warts symptoms guide to find out how to spot them.
Internal warts are not to be treated by Aldara, and neither are warts in the mouth caused by HPV.
Male and female genital wart cream available in the UK
Aldara is licensed explicitly for both genital and external anal warts in and around the anus. It is suitable for any number of intimate warts — including those that are hard to touch, or those that are soft and fleshy. Each box of 12 sachets provides 28 days (four weeks) treatment. You only need to apply the cream a few (three) times a week, and the active ingredients are generally well-tolerated — even suitable for sensitive skin, unlike other abrasive wart removal methods. (If you suffer from an autoimmune disorder, it may mean that Aldara is not suitable for you).
You should wash the cream off with water and mild soap after about 8 hours, and it’s a good idea to apply the cream to clean skin before getting into bed at night. Keep your hands clean and avoid getting Aldara on your skin.
Aldara cream helps genital wart outbreaks disappear, usually within 4 months of starting the treatment. Half the women who clear will do so in 8 weeks, half the men who clear will do so in 12 weeks; but with some patients warts may clear as early as 4 weeks.
The cream also helps treat any associated pain or discomfort. 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, and can also be found in a wart cream called Zyclara.
Aldara cream is manufactured by Meda Pharmaceuticals and is classified as a prescription only medicine. It was discovered by 3M back in 1997. The cream comes packaged as individual sachets, each containing 250 mg of Aldara cream. One pack contains twelve sachets of cream. This product is for cutaneous use only.
Warts that occur on your hands and feet look and feel different to genital warts. Don’t use any over-the-counter wart creams to treat your genital warts, as you may end up damaging your skin.
How does Aldara work to treat HPV?
Genital warts are caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV). Imiquimod cream works to eradicate this virus by helping the body stimulate its own defence mechanisms, acting as an immune response modifier (IRM). Essentially, it helps the body attack the virus itself by stimulating the production of cytokines that stop the virus from multiplying in cells. They also reduce cell abnormalities.
With the help of imiquimod, the immune system releases chemicals to attack and kill viruses. It stops the HPV in its tracks by preventing it from multiplying inside cells. When the HPV type 6 & 11 is killed, your genital warts should clear. Warts treated with Aldara are less likely to recur, and you may never have them again.
Getting rid of genital warts
Genital warts cannot be 100% cured — only treated. When your immune system is under stress, warts may reappear; even after a successful course of treatment.
The only non-medicinal treatments for Aldara Cream is to have the warts physically removed. This is often only used in more severe cases when all medicinal treatments have been exhausted. You will have to speak to your GP for further information.
Read more about how to get rid of genital warts here.
Aldara Patient Information Leaflet: https://www.medicines.org.uk/emc/product/823/pil
How to use Aldara Cream
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 stop treatment and have a gap of at least one day in between applications.
Each application of Aldara cream should be carried out as follows:
- Before going to bed, wash your hands and the treatment area with mild soap and water. Dry thoroughly.
- Open a new sachet and squeeze some Aldara cream onto your fingertip.
- Apply a thin layer of Aldara cream onto clean, dry wart area and rub gently into the skin until the cream vanishes.
- After application of the cream, throw away the opened sachet and wash hands with soap and water.
- Leave Aldara cream on the warts for 6 to 10 hours. Do not shower or bathe during this time.
- 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 contains imiquimod 5% as the active ingredient. This means there is 5 mg dosage of the ingredient 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.
Aldara side effects
Aldara cream can cause some side effects during use due to the sensitivity of the skin you are applying it to. These reactions are generally not serious and should subside within around 2 weeks after your treatment is complete.
Reactions 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. You can also read our guide on Aldara cream side effects to find out more information.
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.
To find out more about other people’s experiences with this treatment, read our Aldara reviews page.
Aldara 5% Cream reviews
Aldara 5% Cream FAQs
Aldara cream is used to treat genital warts in men and women. It is the only product that we currently provide that is licensed for treating anal warts. The active ingredient is Imiquimod 5%.
It can also be used to treat Actinic Keratosis and Superficial Basal Cell Carcinoma, however, this would need to be prescribed face-to-face by your GP or dermatologist.
Aldara helps to stimulate your immune system to fight the HPV (Human Papillomavirus) that causes genital warts. It does not burn or destroy the warts like other genital warts treatments.
For the treatment of Genital Warts, Aldara cream is best applied at night using the following procedure:
- Wash and dry the body before going to bed.
- Tear open a sachet and apply to the genital warts with a clean fingertip.
- One sachet has enough cream to cover 3 square inches.
- Use only one sachet per application and discard after use.
- Do not wash off for 6 to 10 hours and then rinse off in the morning with soap and water.
Aldara is to be applied 3 times per week. An example would be applications on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, or Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.
Aldara has a different application pattern to other wart treatments, such as Warticon. Aldara is applied once daily for 3 days a week. Usually on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Warticon is applied twice daily in the morning and night for 3 consecutive days and then there is a four days break.
Most genital wart treatments act to damage the wart tissue causing it to slowly disappear. These types of treatment, such as Warticon, may sometimes get rid of genital warts fast than Aldara however they tend to have a higher recurrence rate at the HPV still remains dormant. Aldara helps to stimulate the immune system to fight the virus and is therefore more likely to lead to complete clearing of the warts and virus.
Aldara is the only genital warts treatment that is also licensed to treat anal warts as well as warts on the penis or vagina.
Aldara is applied 3 times per week and if you should miss a dose, it is best to apply when you remember. Above all else do not apply more than 1 sachet per day.
You cannot apply Aldara inside the body. If you have warts inside the rectum, vagina, cervix or in the urethra (the hole where urine comes out) then please see a doctor for further medical advice this product is not suitable for you.
Warts on the surface of the penis can be treated with Aldara. Warts inside the urethra (the hole where urine comes from) cannot be treated as treated may lead to scarring. Under these circumstances it is advisable to see a doctor for further medical advice.
Warts under the foreskin can be treated with Aldara but it is important to peel the foreskin back and clean the area daily. Otherwise the area may become tight and swollen. Also peeling the foreskin back may become difficult. If this occurs seek medical advice straight away.
Aldara is best applied after sexual activity and may weaken condoms and diaphragms. It is important to note that genital warts (HPV) is very contagious and can be passed on to your sexual partner, even if you are wearing a condom. Friction created during sex can also cause irritation on the treated areas. It is best to refrain from sex during treatment for genital warts.
Aldara does not provide any protection from sexually transmitted diseases.
Each pack contains 12 sachets of Aldara cream and this will last one month. On average men need 3 months worth and women need two months worth of treatment.
Each treatment cycle for genital warts with Aldara should not exceed 16 weeks continuously without a break.
The duration of treatment will depend on the size and number of warts, as well as how long you have had them. It can be as little as 4 weeks.
Warts treated with Aldara cream are less likely to return compared to other treatments like Warticon solution or cream. Genital warts can recur and this is not uncommon after the first 3 months of treatment.
Currently no one manufactures generic or unbranded versions of Aldara cream. Warticon cream or solution may be more suitable if you are looking for a cheaper alternative. Although warts are more likely to return and treatment duration is on average longer with these products compared to Aldara.
Aldara cream does not cause herpes – this is an STD that is passed on through intercourse and manifests in the the form of blisters and ulcers. However, imiquimod can cause irritation and soreness, which can sometimes mimic the symptoms of genital herpes.
Aldara is an immune response modifier, and one of the side effects experienced by some (around 3%) is diarrhoea. However, most people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
As discussed in the answer above, Aldara is an immune response modifier, and as such it can interfere to some extent with your normal immune response, giving you flu-like symptoms such as tiredness, fever and muscle aches. This reaction (if you have it) should return to normal after you have finished taking the medication.
As with any topical medical treatment, there can sometimes be a skin reaction. In the case of Aldara, some people find that they get small blisters or ulcers as a response to the cream. If you have a severe reaction to Aldara cream, stop using it and consult a medical professional.
Aldara wart cream is generally rated at around 7-8/10 by others users online. The results and speed of the warts clearing up varies from person to person – sometimes it takes just a few weeks, for others it can take a few months. While side effects are generally not too common, they can make some people feel unwell, in which case another treatment such as Warticon may be recommended.
Aldara cream is best used for a few months at a time. The earliest you would expect to see the warts clearing up is after a few weeks, but it may take up to four months. The average time taken for genital warts to clear up when using Aldara is around 8 weeks in women and around 10-12 weeks in men.
We stock Aldara at £75 for 12 sachets, which is four weeks worth of treatment. Aldara becomes slightly cheaper if you buy more than four weeks (1 pack) of treatment at a time.
Aldara is also available on the NHS from your GP or GUM (sexual health) clinic.
Currently, this is a prescription-only drug the in UK and will not be available to purchase at a pharmacy counter or Boots — unless you have a prescription that is!
When you buy from The Independent Pharmacy, our GPs take care of the prescription for you, meaning you can be safe in the knowledge you are getting a genuine prescription medicine from our UK pharmacy.
No, not really. HPV is a common infection and having genital warts doesn’t mean that you’re more likely to get cervical cancer — that’s a different type of HPV. Although genital warts can look slightly unsightly, they have no serious health implications.
It depends. Untreated, they may hang on for up to two years before naturally clearing. They can clear in as little as 4-8 weeks with treatment.
HPV always remains dormant in your system so clearing one outbreak of genital warts does not mean you will not get another, although treating genital warts with Aldara makes further outbreaks less likely.