Aldara Side Effects
What should I watch for?
Visit your health care professional for regular checks on your progress.
Do not use this medicine until the skin has healed from any other drug (example: podofilox or podophyllin resin) or surgical skin treatment.
Females should receive regular pelvic exams while being treated for genital warts. Most patients see improvement within 4 weeks. It may take up to 16 weeks to see a full clearing of the warts. This medicine is not a cure. New warts may develop during or after treatment. Avoid sexual (genital, anal, oral) contact while the cream is on the skin. If warts are visible in the genital area, sexual contact should be avoided until the warts are treated. The use of latex condoms during sexual contact may reduce, but not entirely prevent, infecting others. This medicine may weaken condoms, diaphragms, cervical caps or other barrier devices and make them less effective as birth control. Do not cover the treated area with an airtight bandage. Cotton gauze dressings can be used. Cotton underwear can be worn after using this medicine on the genital or anal area.
Actinic keratoses that were not seen before may appear during treatment and may later go away. The treatment area and surrounding area may lighten or darken after treatment with this medicine. These skin color changes may be permanent in some patients.
If you experience a skin reaction at the treatment site that interferes or prevents you from doing any daily activity, contact your health care provider. You may need a rest period from treatment. Treatment may be restarted once the reaction has gotten better as recommended by your doctor or health care professional.
This medicine can make you more sensitive to the sun. Keep out of the sun. If you cannot avoid being in the sun, wear protective clothing and use sunscreen. Do not use sun lamps or tanning beds/booths.
Common and Rare Side Effects
Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:
Blisters on the skin
body aches or pain
difficulty with breathing
itching in the genital or other skin areas
loss of voice
open sores or scabs on the skin
pain or tenderness around the eyes and cheekbones
redness of the skin (severe)
shortness of breath or troubled breathing
stuffy or runny nose
tightness of the chest or wheezing
unusual tiredness or weakness
Abdominal or stomach pain
ankle, knee, or great toe joint pain
bloody or cloudy urine
difficult, burning, or painful urination
fast or irregular heartbeat
frequent urge to urinate
joint stiffness or swelling
lower back or side pain
lump in the abdomen or stomach
persistent non-healing sore
pink growth on the skin
pounding in the ears
reddish patch or irritated area
shiny bump on the skin
slow or fast heartbeat
swollen, painful, or tender lymph glands in the neck, armpit, or groin
white, yellow or waxy scar-like area
Incidence not known
Blue lips and fingernails
coughing that sometimes produces a pink frothy sputum
dilated neck veins
fast, irregular, or pounding heartbeat
nausea or vomiting
pain in the shoulders, arms, jaw, or neck
sudden and severe inability to speak
swelling of the face, fingers, feet, or lower legs
weakness in the arm or leg on one side of the body
Get emergency help immediately if any of the following symptoms of overdose occur:
Symptoms of overdose
dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up suddenly from a lying or sitting position
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:
Burning or stinging of the skin (mild)
flaking of the skin
pain, soreness, or tenderness of the skin (mild)
redness of the skin (mild)
swelling at place of application
lightening of the treated skin
Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.