Skin Cancer Home > Aldara Overdose

Serious effects may occur if someone takes Aldara (imiquimod) by mouth. In this case, it may cause problems like low blood pressure or other complications. If too much Aldara is applied to the skin, it may cause severe skin reactions, such as skin ulceration or severe swelling. Treatment may include administering certain medications, pumping the stomach, or providing supportive care.

Can You Use Too Much Aldara?

Aldara® (imiquimod cream) is a prescription medication approved to treat actinic keratosis (a type of precancerous skin lesion), basal cell carcinoma (a type of skin cancer), and genital or perianal warts. As with most medications, it is probably possible to use too much Aldara.
 
The specific effects of an overdose could potentially be dangerous but would vary, depending on a number of factors, including the Aldara dosage and how it was taken (applied to the skin or taken by mouth).
 

Effects of an Overdose

Serious effects are probably more likely to occur if an Aldara overdose is taken by mouth, as only a small amount is absorbed into the bloodstream when it is applied to the skin. In studies, giving a fairly large dose of imiquimod by mouth (equivalent to more than 16 packets of the cream) caused low blood pressure (hypotension), which can become dangerous. Make sure to keep this medication out of the reach of children. This is especially important if you have any cream left over in the packets.
 
Because Aldara, even at normal doses, usually causes skin reactions, it is expected that overuse of the product on the skin will increase the risk of severe skin reactions, such as skin ulceration or severe swelling. Make sure to follow your Aldara dosing instructions carefully. Applying the medication over too large of an area can significantly increase the amount of the drug absorbed, which might increase the risk of overdose effects.
 
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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