Choosing Generic vs Branded Aldara

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Generic medicines contain the same active ingredient and are equally effective and equivalent as the branded products but are available at a lower price. Generic manufacturers have to demonstrate that they are medically identical to the branded product before they can be sold - i.e. they offer the same quality, strength, stability and effectiveness.


Aldara

Fast-Acting Genital Warts Treatment

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£69.95 (includes free private prescription)
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Aldara 5% Cream

  • 12 sachets - £69.95
  • 24 sachets - £134.98
  • 36 sachets - £194.85
  • 48 sachets - £259.80

What is Aldara?

Aldara 5% Cream contains the active ingredient imiquimod. Imiquimod is used to treat external genital and peri-anal warts in adults. Imiquimod is an immune response modifier. This means that it stimulates a person’s immune system to release cytokines and works to attack the virus that causes genital warts- human papillomavirus. Imiquimod works towards clearing genital warts.

How often should Aldara cream be used?

A thin layer of Aldara cream should be applied 3 times a week (for example Monday, Wednesday and Friday; or Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday) at bedtime and should remain on the skin for 6 to 10 hours. After this period, Aldara cream should be washed off with mild soap and water

  • Treatment should continue until the clearance of visible genital or perianal warts, or for a maximum of 16 weeks per episode of warts. If your
  • genital warts are still present after this, please visit your GP or sexual health clinic for other treatment options.

How do I apply Aldara cream?

  1. Before going to bed, wash your hands and the treatment area with mild soap and water. Dry thoroughly.
  2. Open a new sachet and squeeze some cream onto your fingertip.
  3. Apply a thin layer of Aldara cream onto clean, dry wart area and rub gently into the skin until cream vanishes.
  4. After application of the cream, throw away the opened sachet and wash hands with soap and water.
  5. Leave Aldara cream on the warts for 6 to 10 hours. Do not shower or bathe during this time.
  6. After 6 to 10 hours wash the area where Aldara cream was applied with mild soap and water.

What else should I know about using Aldara cream?

  1. Read the patient information leaflet provided with your treatment
  2. Avoid getting the cream on normal or broken skin and open wounds
  3. Hands should be washed thoroughly before and after applying the cream
  4. Avoid unprotected sexual contact soon after application because of a possible irritant effect on the partner
  5. Latex condoms and diaphragms may be weakened if in contact with Aldara
  6. Response to treatment and adverse effects may be delayed by some weeks
  7. Inflammation may occur within a few applications of Aldara
  8. Permanent hypopigmentation and hyperpigmentation may occur

If I use Aldara more often than recommended, will I see faster results?

Excess cream or prolonged contact with the skin may result in a severe reaction at the application site.

Should I cover the area treated with a dressing after applying my treatment?

The use of an occlusive dressing is not recommended with Aldara.

Side effects

I have applied Aldara and now my skin is really irritated. What should I do?

Local skin reactions such as erythema (redness), erosion, excoriation (wearing off the skin), flaking and oedema are common. Other local reactions such as induration (hardening), ulceration, scabbing, and vesicles have also been reported. Should an intolerable skin reaction occur, the cream should be removed by washing the area with mild soap and water. Treatment with Aldara cream can be resumed after the skin reaction has improved.

What are the side effects of Aldara?

Like all medications, Aldara has side effects that affect some people that take this medication. Some very common side effects of Aldara include redness (61% patients), wearing away of the skin (30% patients), flakiness and swelling. Hardening under the skin, small open sores, a crust that forms during healing, and small bubbles under the skin may also occur. You might also feel itching (32% patients), a burning sensation (26% patients) or pain in areas where you have applied Aldara cream (8% patients). Most of these skin reactions are mild and the skin will return to normal within about 2 weeks after stopping treatment.

Alternatives

  • MedExpress provides two topical treatments (treatments that are applied to the skin) - Aldara and Warticon. Click here to read about Warticon.
  • A sexual health clinic sometimes offers surgery to remove the warts or a treatment to freeze the warts.
Aldara cream Warticon solution Warticon cream
Onset of action Can take up to 16 weeks to work Can take up to four weeks to work Can take up to four weeks to work
Efficacy Comparable with Warticon Solution Comparable with Aldara Cream Inferior to Warticon Solution
Price From £69.95 From £31.99 From £34.99

Information Leaflet

Patient Information Leaflet

Always read the patient information leaflet before commencing treatment.

Authored 02 April 2020 by Dr Clare Morrison, Reviewed 02 April 2020 by Liyya Patel, Siobhan Titre Last updated 02 April 2020

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All our doctors and pharmacists are based in the UK and are registered with the General Medical Council and General Pharmaceutical Council.

Dr Clare Morrison

General Practitioner (Prescriber)
GMC: 3441561

Dr Heather Currie

General Practitioner (Prescriber)
GMC: 2613354

Dr Syed Arfeen

Primary Care Physician
GMC: 6031426