What is Imiquad® Imiquimod 5%/12.5mg Cream
Imiquimod 5% cream is used to treat certain types of actinic keratoses (flat, scaly growths on the skin caused by too much sun exposure) on the face or scalp. Imiquimod cream is also used to treat superficial basal cell carcinoma – a type of skin cancer on the trunk, neck, arms, hands, legs, or feet and warts on the skin of the genital and anal areas. Imiquimod 5% Cream is in a class of component called immune response modifiers. It treats genital and anal warts by increasing the activity of the body’s immune system.
It is not known exactly how Imiquimod 5% cream works to treat actinic keratoses or superficial basal cell carcinoma, it does not cure warts, and new warts may appear during treatment.
Usage of Imiquimod 5%/12.5mg Cream
Imiquad Imiquimod 5% Cream is used on the skin to mainly treat actinic keratosis on the scalp or face in adults. It is caused by too much exposure to the sun. It is also used to treat warts on or around the anus or genitals in those above 12 years of age.
Another use of the Imiquad Imiquimod 5% Cream is to treat superficial basal cell carcinoma in adults when surgery is not recommended and they have a normal immune system. Imiquad Imiquimod 5% Cream is a type of immune response modifier which works by stimulating the body’s own immune response system and thereby helping the body to fight the Human Papilloma Virus. It is used in the treatment of genital warts but it is not a cure for the virus that causes them, it just removes visible unpleasant signs of such a virus.
Actinic keratoses: ask your dermatologist, but generally it prescribed to apply it once a day for 2 days a week, 3 to 4 days apart (e.g., Monday and Thursday or Tuesday and Friday). Do not apply the cream to an area larger than your forehead or cheek (about 2 inches by 2 inches). Imiquimod 5% cream should be left on the skin for approximately 8 hours. Continue using imiquimod 5% cream for a full 16 weeks, even if all the actinic keratoses are gone, unless you are told otherwise by your dermatologist.
Superficial basal cell carcinoma: ask your dermatologist first, generally this cream applied it once a day for 5 days a week (e.g., Monday through Friday). Apply the cream to the basal cell carcinoma and the immediate surrounding area. Imiquimod 5% cream should be left on the skin for approximately 8 hours. Continue using imiquimod for a full 6 weeks, even if the superficial basal cell carcinoma appears to be gone unless you are told otherwise by your dermatologist.
Genital and anal warts: apply it once a day for 3 days a week (e.g., Monday, Wednesday, and Friday or Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday). Imiquimod 5% cream should be left on the skin for 6 to 10 hours. Continue using imiquimod 5% cream until all of the warts are healed, up to a maximum of 16 weeks. If you are using Imiquad Imiquimod 5% Cream to treat genital or anal warts, you should avoid sexual (oral, anal, genital) contact while the cream is on your skin. Imiquad Imiquimod 5% Cream may weaken condoms and vaginal diaphragms. If you are treating warts under the penis foreskin you should pull the foreskin back and clean daily and before each treatment.
Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your dermatologist to explain any part you do not understand. Use imiquimod 5% only exactly as directed. Do not use more or less of it or use it more often than prescribed by your dermatologist. Do not cover the treated area with a tight bandage or dressing unless told to do so by your dermatologist. Cotton gauze dressings may be used if needed. Cotton underwear may be worn after treating the genital or anal areas. Imiquimod cream is only for use on the skin. Do not apply imiquimod cream in or near your eyes, lips, nostrils. If you get imiquimod cream in your mouth or eyes, rinse well with water right away.
How to use Imiquimod 5%/12.5mg Cream
- Wash your hands and the area to be treated with mild soap and water and allow it to dry.
- Apply a thin layer of cream to the area to be treated, just before going to sleep.
- Rub the cream into the skin until it disappears and wash your hands.
- Leave the cream on the area for the amount of time your dermatologist has told you to do so. Do not bathe, shower, or swim during this time.
- After the treatment time is over, wash the area with mild soap and water to remove any cream.
Precautions when using Imiquimod 5%/12.5mg Cream
- Imiquimod cream comes in single-use packets called sachets, each pack contains 3 sachets 0.25g of Imiquad Imiquimod 5% Cream. Throw away any open packets if you do not use all of the cream.
- Before using imiquimod, consult with your dermatologist, tell your doctor if you are allergic to imiquimod, any of the ingredients in imiquimod cream, or any other medications. Tell your dermatologist what other prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention any other treatments for genital or anal warts, actinic keratoses, or superficial basal cell carcinoma.
- Tell your dermatologist if you have a sunburn or if you have or have ever had an unusual sensitivity to sunlight, any skin disease such as psoriasis, graft vs. host disease, a recent surgery to the affected area or any condition that affects the immune system (such as HIV or AIDS).
- Tell your dermatologist if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding. If you become pregnant while using imiquimod, call your doctor as soon as possible.
- Plan to avoid exposure to sunlight as much as possible and to wear protective clothing (such as a hat), sunglasses, and sunscreen if you go outside during daylight hours. Do not use tanning beds or sunlamps.
- Imiquimod cream may make your skin sensitive to sunlight. You should know that imiquimod cream may cause changes in your skin color. These changes may not go away after you finish treatment with imiquimod cream. Tell your doctor if you notice any changes in your skin color.
Side effects of Imiquimod 5%/12.5mg Cream
Imiquimod cream may cause side effects. Tell your dermatologist if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away: redness, itching, burning, or bleeding of the treated area, flaking, scaling, dryness, or thickening of the skin, swelling, stinging, or pain in the treated area, blisters, scabs, or bumps on the skin, headache, diarrhea, back pain, tiredness. Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms, call your doctor immediately: Keep all appointments with your dermatologist doctor. If you are using imiquimod cream to treat superficial basal cell carcinoma, it is important to have regular follow-up visits with your doctor. Ask your doctor how often you should have your skin checked.