Skin Cancer Home > Aldara Side Effects
People using Aldara will likely develop some type of side effect, such as redness, dryness, or crusting of the skin. Fortunately, these reactions tend to be minor and are not usually an indication of an allergic reaction to the drug. However, research has shown that severe skin reactions, flu-like symptoms, and other potentially serious problems could occur and should be treated right away.
An Introduction to Aldara Side EffectsJust like any medicine, Aldara® (imiquimod cream) can cause side effects. However, not everyone who uses the medication will have problems. In fact, most people tolerate it quite well. If side effects do occur, in most cases, they are minor and either require no treatment or are treated easily by you or your healthcare provider.
Although almost all people using this medication will develop some sort of skin reaction to the product, most of these reactions are minor.
(This article covers many, but not all, of the possible side effects with Aldara. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list with you.)
Common Side Effects of AldaraAldara has been studied extensively in clinical trials. In these studies, the side effects that occurred in a group of people using Aldara were documented and compared to those that occurred in another group of people using a similar cream that did not contain any active ingredients (a placebo). As a result, it was possible to see what side effects occurred, how often they appeared, and how they compared to the placebo.
In these studies, the most common Aldara side effects were skin reactions. Some of the most common skin reactions included:
- Redness -- in up to 100 percent of people
- Flaking, scaling, or dryness -- up to 93 percent
- Skin hardening or lumps -- 84 percent
- Scabbing or crusting -- up to 83 percent
- Swelling -- up to 78 percent
- Erosion or ulcerations (open sores) -- up to 66 percent
- Itching -- up to 32 percent
- Fluid-filled bumps -- up to 31 percent
- Oozing -- up to 22 percent.
These side effects are normal and expected, and do not necessarily mean a person is allergic to Aldara. In some cases, however, these side effects are so severe that treatment must be stopped temporarily to allow the skin to heal.
Other common side effects, occurring in 5 percent to 10 percent of people, included but were not limited to:
- Upper respiratory tract infection (such as the common cold)
- Sinus infection
- Skin pain