Imiquimod is marketed in Europe under the trade name Aldara®.
The active ingredient is a chemical compound that contains ammonia (amine) and can stimulate the immune response in the body.

This property is used in the treatment of various skin diseases.
Imiquimod is particularly often used for genital warts, but also for the clinical picture of actinic keratosis or superficial skin cancer (basalioma).

Effect / mechanism of action

Imiquimod over-stimulates "Toll-like receptors" the release of Inflammation mediators and thereby causes a Inflammatory response in the body through which the immune system (cell-mediated specific immune response) is stimulated.
Through this immune system activation, the body itself fights the disease process and so Imiquimod can counteract its effects Viruses and Tumors unfold.

Application / indication

Human papillomavirus (HPV)

Human papillomavirus (HPV) are sexually transmitted and are next to that Formation of genital warts on the genitals of both sexes also on the origin of cervical cancer involved. Long-standing infections with HPV can lead to this cancer in women.

For several years, vaccination has been recommended for young women as a preventive measure to prevent cervical cancer and infection with human papillomaviruses.

When Genital warts Imiquimod can be used. Clinical studies show that imiquimod shows promising efficacy in the therapy of precursors of cervical cancer.

External genital warts on the labia can be treated with the cream. Imiquimod can be introduced as a suppository for genital warts that are further inside. Changes caused by the HP virus can thus be recognized and combated by the body.


Imiquimod is approved for the treatment of basaliomas.
However, imiquimod should only be used at small and superficial skin changes be applied.

In the case of extensive findings that also extend deeper into the skin, an operation cannot be replaced by imiquimod.

When treated with imiquimod, it can visible skin changes come that one though good sign for the body's response to therapy.
These complaints subside in the course of therapy. If this is not the case, contact a dermatologist.

Imiquimod can be used in the therapy of basal cell carcinomas five times a week before going to bed for 5 to 6 weeks.


The exact dosage of imiquimod depends on the one hand Application form (Cream, suppository, etc.) and on the other after patient-related factsand the disease to be treated.

In order to avoid unwanted skin reactions on the hands, it is important that the hands before and after applying the cream washed thoroughly become.
Alternatively, the cream can also be used applied with disposable gloves become.

The cream usually will three times per week Applied to the area overnight and then left on the skin for several hours. This application is repeated until all warts are gone or a maximum of 16 weeks in a row.

Exposure to sunlight is closed during therapy with imiquimod avoid, as the skin is strongly irritated by the therapy.

Application form


Imiquimod cream is used to treat new growths on the skin. These include the genital warts, which can mainly occur in the genital area and the anus. Small basilomas, which are a special form of skin cancer, are also treated with imiquimod cream. In addition, the cream can also be used for growths of the upper layer of the skin, the so-called actinic keratosis. The specific forms of application vary depending on the disease. Consultation with the dermatologist is helpful in order to carry out the application correctly and to correctly classify any side effects that occur.


Those containing imiquimod Suppositories are used to treat Genital warts in the rectum area or Vaginal area applied.

New preparations combine the active ingredient with one Restraint device in the sense of a hollow insert, which should prevent the uvula from sliding up into higher sections of the genital tract or the rectum.

The person affected can also check and correct the position of the uvula.Especially in gynecology, suppositories are promised precursors cervical cancer, by HPV have arisen to be able to treat at an early stage.

Side effects

As a medicine, imiquimod can cause side effects, although not all users experience them.

When treated with imiquimod, it can local skin reactions on which the medicine has been applied.
Such skin reactions can manifest themselves in the form of hyper- or hypopigmentation, redness, swelling or itching.
Should the Skin reaction too strong you should be the Stop the application immediately and inform your doctor or pharmacist in order to avoid permanent skin changes as far as possible.
Some users have had a decrease in the number of blood cells that can support the Risk of infection of the patient can increase.
Tiredness and bruising (Hematomas) can also be a result of a decrease in the number of blood cells.

Were also rare serious skin reactions found in patients who initially identified as Redness noticeable and then to Pimples that can cause symptoms such as fever, itching, joint pain, general malaise, blurred vision, burning sensation, eye irritation and inflammation of the oral mucosa.

Alopecia (hair loss in the areas where the medicine was applied) is also known in a few patients.

When treating Genital warts side effects other than those associated with the treatment of actinic keratosis or basal cell carcinoma may occur.

Side effects when treating genital warts:

  • Skin redness,
  • Thinning of the skin on the treated skin regions (30% of users),
  • Flaking of the skin,
  • Swelling,
  • Induration and blistering under the skin,
  • open wounds,
  • Itching,
  • Burn,
  • Pain in the area of ​​application,
  • Headache migraine,
  • Fever, flu-like symptoms,
  • Joint and muscle pain,
  • Prolapse of the uterus,
  • Pain during intercourse in women,
  • Erectile dysfunction,
  • Nausea, stomach and intestinal symptoms,
  • increased perspiration,
  • Ringing in the ears,
  • Skin redness,
  • Fatigue,
  • Drowsiness,
  • Tingle,
  • Insomnia,
  • Depressions,
  • Loss of appetite,
  • Swelling of the glands,
  • Bacterial, viral and fungal infections,
  • Vaginal infection,
  • painful urination in women.

Side effects when treating the Basalioma:

  • Tingling, burning of the skin,
  • small swollen areas of skin,
  • Pain,
  • Bleeding,
  • Redness,
  • Rash,
  • Pus formation,
  • Swelling of the glands,
  • Back pain,
  • Nausea,
  • dry mouth,
  • Fatigue,
  • flu-like symptoms,
  • local skin reactions in the area of ​​application.

Side effects in treating the actinic keratosis:

  • Itching,
  • Pain,
  • Redness,
  • Pus formation,
  • Infections,
  • A headache,
  • Loss of appetite,
  • Nausea,
  • Muscle and joint pain, body aches
  • Fatigue,
  • Blossoms,
  • Inflammation,
  • Wound secretion,
  • Sensitivity,
  • Swelling,
  • small swollen areas in the skin,
  • Tingle,
  • Scab and scarring,
  • Ulceration,
  • Feeling of warmth,
  • Discomfort,
  • Inflammation of the lining of the nose
  • stuffy nose,
  • flu-like symptoms,
  • Depression,
  • Eye irritation,
  • Swelling of the eyelids,
  • Sore throat,
  • Diarrhea,
  • Redness,
  • Facial swelling,
  • Ulcers,
  • Fever,
  • Weakness, chills.

If you experience side effects, you should tell your doctor or pharmacist immediately.