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Review: Imiquimod side effects

In this review, we analyze Imiquimod side effects by the time on the drug, gender and age (0-60+) of the people who have side effects while taking Imiquimod. The review is based on 137 people who have side effects while taking Imiquimod from FDA and social media, and is updated regularly.

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What is Imiquimod

Imiquimod (latest outcomes from 143 users) has active ingredients of imiquimod. It is often used in actinic keratosis.

Other drugs that have the same active ingredients (imiquimod): Aldara, Zyclara.

On Oct, 29, 2014: 137 people who reported to have side effects when taking Imiquimod are studied

 outcomes

Most common side effects over time * :

< 1 month1 - 6 months6 - 12 months1 - 2 years2 - 5 years5 - 10 years10+ yearsnot specified
Application Site PainApplication Site Painn/aUvulitisn/an/an/aPyrexia
NauseaApplication Site PruritusBack Pain
Application Site PruritusGastric Ulcer HaemorrhageDizziness
Application Site InflammationScabMyalgia
VomitingApplication Site ErythemaMalaise
Salivary Gland PainPainAsthenia
Application Site UlcerSkin DiscolourationErythema
Parotid Gland EnlargementApplication Site DischargeBasal Cell Carcinoma
Neutrophil Count DecreasedRashPain
Differential White Blood Cell Count AbnormalLip UlcerationNeoplasm Malignant

Most common side effects by gender * :

FemaleMale
Application Site PainPyrexia
NauseaPain
VomitingDizziness
Differential White Blood Cell Count AbnormalAsthenia
Neutrophil Count DecreasedMalaise
RashBack Pain
Application Site PruritusRenal Tubular Necrosis
Application Site InflammationVomiting
ErythemaMyalgia
Infected Skin UlcerMulti-organ Failure

Most common side effects by age * :

0-12-910-1920-2930-3940-4950-5960+
n/aPyrexiaSuicidal IdeationNeutrophil Count DecreasedPapilloma Viral InfectionPyrexiaApplication Site PainScab
SwellingMood SwingsDifferential White Blood Cell Count AbnormalSkin LesionDizzinessInfected Skin UlcerPain
Neoplasm SkinAggressionNauseaSquamous Cell CarcinomaAnuriaApplication Site InflammationRash
Skin InjurySalivary Gland PainBowen's DiseaseAstheniaDysuriaApplication Site Pain
Neoplasm MalignantParotid Gland EnlargementPain Of SkinRenal Tubular NecrosisApplication Site PruritusMyalgia
Disease ProgressionVomitingNail Growth AbnormalBack PainApplication Site UlcerPruritus
NauseaMulti-organ FailureGraft Versus Host DiseaseRenal Failure AcuteHypersensitivityApplication Site Erythema
VomitingPerirectal AbscessInfectionOropharyngeal PainHypotensionBasal Cell Carcinoma
HeadacheClostridial InfectionSkin PapillomaMalaiseVomitingApplication Site Pruritus
Pseudomonal SepsisAlopeciaCytomegalovirus ColitisErythemaPyrexia

* Some reports may have incomplete information.

Browse Imiquimod side effects from A to Z:

How to use the study: print a copy of the study and bring it to your health teams to ensure drug risks and benefits are fully discussed and understood.

Are you taking Imiquimod?

Comments from related studies:

  • From this study (3 months ago):

  • I used Aldara for a total of 4x applications over a period of approximately 1 week. I stopped treatment immediately after the fourth treatment due to soreness around my anus (which, I now gather would be due to the known effects of the cream on healthy skin and damage to the local mucous membrane).

    Around a day after stopping the treatment I fell ill with mild flu-like symptoms and headaches. I had no idea that these symptoms had anything to do with my use of Aldara, but it now appears likely that these were a direct result of this cream, which has POWERFUL and, as I understand, in some cases IRREVERSIBLE ADVERSE EFFECTS on the immune system. One week later, I continue to feel sluggish, sickly, with some weird additional infections in my eyes.

    I believe this drug is highly dangerous. I only used for four applications and I can only wonder at the havoc potentially wrought upon one's body if this is used for more protracted periods. My advice to anyone prescribed this drug would be to AVOID LIKE THE PLAGUE. Advice presented in the packaging does not, in my opinion, adequately outline the dangers or proper use for the treatment of genital warts (i.e., to be used extremely sparingly - no more than toothpick sized amounts, applied directly to the warts only).

    I do not believe the medical community is sufficiently informed regarding the long term effects of Aldara, and I will be writing to my local NHS trust regarding what I believe to be a highly hazardous material. DO NOT USE THIS
    "MEDICINE".

    Reply

    O&O on Jul, 25, 2014:

    As you may have seen from my other posts, I am a lawyer in Ontario, Canada who has been speaking with a number of people who have experienced side-effects (some very severe) after using Aldara.

    I have seen quite a few references on the Internet to the kinds of side-effects that you are describing. I find it hard to believe that this cream would be prescribed for such a sensitive area as the genital area. I have a very extensive scientific and medical background, and in my view, application in the genital area would enhance absorption into the blood stream, certainly making a systemic side-effect far more likely.

    It is really important to get all these side-effects out there in the public sphere. I have media interest in a story, but I need more people with first-hand experience with this either Aldara or Zyclara so we can establish that it is the imoquimod that is causing these problems. Please take the time to contact me at aoakley@oakleylegal.com.

    If you are living outside of the area where I can reasonably assist you, then I may be able to find a lawyer in your area who might be able to assist.

    Reply

    O&O on Jul, 25, 2014:

    As you may have seen from my other posts, I am a lawyer in Ontario, Canada who has been speaking with a number of people who have experienced side-effects (some very severe) after using Aldara.

    I feel it is really important to get all these side-effects out there in the public sphere. I have media interest in a story, but I need more people with first-hand experience with this either Aldara or Zyclara so we can establish that it is the imoquimod that is causing these problems. Please take the time to contact me at aoakley@oakleylegal.com.

    If you are living outside of the area where I can reasonably assist you, then I may be able to find a lawyer in your area who might be able to assist.

    Reply

    Nursing Student on Jan, 7, 2013:

    I too have used 4 applications of Aldara for genital warts and had exact same experience, if not worse. After the 3rd application, i had open sores with puss in my perineal area with excruciating pain. I cried in pain and could barely walk or concentrate on anything else but the burning pain. It feel like someone took a sharp knife and constantly slitting at my perineum. I am too afraid to even look at the area thru the mirror. The pantyliner that i wear and change occasionally is soaked with puss and blood. I have UTI symptoms as well with painful urination and present of blood. This is the worst pain I have ever experienced. Not to mention, i've also developed a cold and sore throat, which is not very common for me. This drug is dangerous and I am extremely upset that the FDA even approved this medication to the public! I have stopped this medication and praying that the pain, ulcers, and pain urination stops soon! I lay in my bed depressed since this has started..i almost want to die.

    Reply

  • From this study (3 months ago):

  • I started taking Zyclara as a topical ointment on my back to treat Basil Cell Carcinoma Skin Cancer. It worked in removing the cancer. However, the process has been most difficult. It has been 8 months since I started the 6 week process, and I still am losing my hair, have severe diarhea, and the doctors can not find anything wrong with me. They found Candida in the beginning and treated that, they found some small ulcers in my small intestin. I have been cleared of Crohns, Celiac disease, just about everything you could think of. I am still fighting an uphill battle to stop the diarhea, hair loss, and stomach cramping. IBS is another thing I was diagnosed with after the candida cleared.

    Reply

    O&O on Jul, 25, 2014:

    You may have seen from my other posts that I am a lawyer in Ontario, Canada who has been speaking with a number of people who have suffered side-effects from Aldara, so I can get the word out through the media about this medication.

    Your symptoms sound just terrible. I may not be able to help you if you are not in Canada somewhere, but I may be able to find a lawyer for you in your area if you are interested in contacting me: aoakley@oakleylegal.com

    Reply

  • From this study (3 months ago):

  • severe debilitating autoimmune illness as a direct result of applying aldara cream to 4 bcc sites in 2001. Now live with severe disabilities including acute/chronic pancreatitis, polymyalgia rheumatica,bilateral greater trochanter bursitis,addisons disease,fibromyalgia.

    Reply

    O&O on Jul, 25, 2014:

    As you may have seen from my other posts, I am a lawyer in Ontario, Canada who has been speaking with a number of people who have experienced side-effects (some very severe) after using Aldara.

    I feel it is really important to get all these side-effects out there in the public sphere. I have media interest in a story, but I need more people with first-hand experience with this either Aldara or Zyclara so we can establish that it is the imoquimod that is causing these problems. Please take the time to contact me at aoakley@oakleylegal.com.

    If you are living outside of the area where I can reasonably assist you, then I may be able to find a lawyer in your area who might be able to assist.

    Reply

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