Generic name: Imiquimod

Aldara is an immune response modifier. It seems to work by stimulating the skin to produce cytokines, potent natural chemicals that fight warts.

Quick Facts About Aldara


Used to treat condyloma acuminatum (genital warts) and perianal warts. Has no antiviral activity and is not a cure; new warts may develop during treatment.

Aldara Dosage

Apply a thin film of cream to external warts and rub it in thoroughly. Leave on skin for 6 to 10 hours, then remove cream with mild soap and water. Wash hands before and after applying. Use exactly as prescribed. Using cream in greater amounts or more frequently will not improve results and may cause excessive skin irritation.

  • Usual adult dose: a thin film of Aldara 3 times per week for up to 16 weeks or until warts disappear.
  • Usual child dose: not prescribed for children under 18 years.
  • Missed dose: take as soon as possible, unless almost time for next dose. In that case, do not take missed dose; go back to regular schedule. Do not double doses.

Aldara Side Effects

Overdose symptoms:

none reported; however, swallowing medication may cause low blood pressure. If you have swallowed Aldara or suspect an overdose; immediately seek medical attention.

More common side effects: abrasions, burning, erosion of skin, flaking, fungal infections in women, headaches, itching, marks on skin, pain, redness, skin scabbing, swelling, ulcer.

Less common Aldara side effects: diarrhea, flulike symptoms, fungal infections in men, muscle aches, skin discoloration, skin soreness.


Do not combine Aldara with other drugs that may cause irritation.

No known food/other substance interactions. 

Special Cautions

If pregnant or planning to become pregnant, inform your doctor immediately. Potential benefits may outweigh potential risks. Not known if Aldara, appears in breast milk.

No special precautions apply to seniors.

Not recommended for children.

  • May further irritate already inflamed or irritated skin or healing from any previous drug or surgery. Do not apply medication until affected area has healed.
  • If skin reaction is severe, inform your doctor and remove cream immediately with mild soap and water. Resume treatment once reaction has subsided.
  • Avoid sexual contact while cream is on skin; may weaken condoms and vaginal diaphragms.
  • Not intended for treatment of other viral skin diseases such as papilloma.
  • This medication is for external use only. Eye, mouth, and nose contact should be avoided.
  • The treatment area should not be bandaged, covered, or wrapped except with cotton gauze or cotton underwear.
  • Uncircumcised males treating warts under the foreskin should retract the foreskin and clean the area daily.

Note: provides accurate and independent information prescription pills, over-the-counter medicines and natural products. This material is provided for educational purposes only and is not intended for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you have questions about  dosage, or Aldara side effects, please contact your healthcare provider.