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Aldara (Imiquimod)

Aldara (Imiquimod)

Imiquimod, sold under the brand name Aldara, is a topical treatment initially approved by the FDA in 1997 for the treatment of actinic keratosis (AK); genital, vaginal, and perianal warts; and certain skin cancers. Aldara dominates the imiquimod market, which generates an estimated $340 million each year, despite the abundance of generic alternatives developed since 2010.

Potential Side Effects of Aldara

  • Heightened susceptibility to sunburn, which is connected to increased risk of skin cancer
  • Flu-like symptoms – fever, chills, malaise, nausea, and body aches
  • Severe inflammation and oozing of skin on treated areas
  • Ulcers
  • Anaphylaxis and anaphylactic shock
  • Immune disturbances (Aldara is not recommend for use in patients with any immune deficiencies.)
  • Change in skin color that can be permanent
  • Increased risk of miscarriage

Due to its active ingredient and potency, Aldara is not recommended for long-term or repeated use. No substantial studies have been conducted on repeat-use instances of Aldara, therefore the safety of repeat applications cannot be validated. One Aldara patient developed severe muscle pain and could not walk after just three days of Aldara use.

The National Center for Biotechnology Information followed three patients, aged 45 to 79, while they used imiquimod. All three developed some form of malaise. When Aldara was stopped, the patients returned to a more normal state of health and wellbeing.

If you are considering taking Aldara for your skin-related ailment, talk to your doctor about the potential side-effects associated with imiquimod-based medications.

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