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Imiquimod is a form of immunotherapy. Immunotherapy triggers your
immune system to fight the virus causing the wart.
This may destroy or shrink the wart.
Imiquimod is thought to work by helping the body's immune system
fight viruses, including the human papillomavirus (HPV) that causes warts. It
also may shrink the warts.
Imiquimod has been approved for use on
genital warts and can be used for hard-to-treat
warts. It may be used at home after a doctor teaches you how to apply it.
Whether imiquimod is an effective treatment for common warts is not
yet known. It does appear to be effective in curing genital warts.1
Common side effects of imiquimod include:
Less common possible side effects include:
See Drug Reference for a full list of side effects. (Drug Reference
is not available in all systems.)
It is not known whether imiquimod is safe to use during pregnancy
or on children younger than 12.
Wash your hands after applying imiquimod cream, because it may
cause skin irritation.
Imiquimod may be used on warts that are resistant to other
treatments. It is generally used when other treatments have failed.
Imiquimod treatment is expensive.
Complete the new medication information form (PDF)new medication information form (PDF)(What is a PDF document?) to help you understand this medication.
Buck HW Jr (2010). Warts (genital), search date December 2009. Online version of BMJ Clinical Evidence. Also available online: http://www.clinicalevidence.com.
September 7, 2012
Patrice Burgess, MD - Family Medicine & E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
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