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Treating Genital Warts, Basal Cell Carcinoma, & Actinic Keratosis

Imiquimod is a patient-applied cream. It is prescribed to treat genital warts, basal cell carcinoma, and actinic keratosis. The cream gives relief from skin damage in case of the above problems. The Imiquimod cream is available worldwide as of 2015.

How does Imiquimod works?

Imiquimod is in the class of medication called as Immune response modifier. It acts as a toll-like receptor-T agonist. It works by stimulating innate and acquired immune response. That means it stimulates natural killer cells and the proliferation of B-cells. This lead to the inflammatory cell infiltration where the cream is applied. The process is followed by apoptosis (programmed cell death) of diseased tissue.

It is thought that the cream helps to activate your immune system to fight abnormal precancerous skin growth. It reduces HPV types 6 and 11 viral loads with wart regression. It also activates cytotoxic T lymphocytes. These cells provide long-term immune memory. This, in turn, offers future protection against a repetition of previous virus or tumor. Thus it shows antitumor activity. It helps the patient’s body to destroy genital warts, AKs and cancer cells.

What are the uses of Imiquimod cream?

  • Imiquimod cream is used to treat superficial basal cell carcinoma (a type of skin cancer).
  • It is seen in
    • trunk,
    • neck,
    • arms,
    • hands
    • Legs or feet.
  • Helps to treat warts on the skin of the genital and anal areas
  • Used in the treatment of certain types actinic keratosis (a condition due to too much sun exposures).
  • It helps to stimulate your immune system to fight against precancerous growth.
  • It may be also used for the purposes not listed in this medication guide.

How to use Imiquimod cream?

Imiquimod cream is not for oral, ophthalmic or intravaginal use. It is available in the form of sachets of strength 5% (0.25 mg). The dosage is different for the three different conditions.

  • For Actinic keratosis: Apply on the affected area one time a day for 2 days in a week at a difference of 3 days.
  • For Superficial basal cell carcinoma: One time in a day for 5 days a week for 6 weeks.
  • For External genital warts: Apply one time a day for 3 days in a week. Use it for continuous 16 weeks or till warts disappear.

What are the precautions in using Imiquimod cream?

  • The use of the cream is limited to the patient of age 12 or older.
  • The safety and efficacy of this cream in immune suppressed patients have not been established.
  • Use with caution in patients with pre-existing autoimmune conditions.
  • Apply to the area not greater than 25sq cm.
  • Avoid or minimize your exposure to sunlight.
  • Keep out of reach of children.
  • Wash the cream off before you engage in sexual activity.
  • Don’t use cosmetics or any skin products in treated area without Doctor’s permission.
  • Inform your doctor in case of the following condition,
  • A severe local inflammatory reaction can lead to vulvar swelling.
  • Vulvar swelling can, in turn, cause urine retention or trouble in passing Urine.

Cost of Imiquimod cream (Generic and Brand).

Both of them contain the same active ingredient. So, they show the same effect. Price differs due to the brand name of the company, packaging, and pricing. Bulk sources of raw material reduce the rates of generic medicines. Many other cost-saving measures are also applied. This reduces the cost of generic medicines.

Cost of Generic Imiquimod cream,

The cost of a 12 packets of 5 % (0.25 mg) is $ 80, per unit cost is $ 6.67.

Cost of brand Aldara,

The cost of a 12 packets of 5 % (0.25 mg) is $ 1,024.87, per unit cost is $ 85.40.

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