Generic Name(s): imiquimod topical
Drug Class: Topical anti-infectives
Treats: Superficial basal cell carcinoma, Actinic Keratosis, Genital warts
Zyclara is an immune response modifier that is used in the treatment of actinic keratosis (a condition that results from excess exposure to the sun) on the face and scalp. Zyclara can also be used in the treatment of genital warts that appear externally on the body. Zyclara can also be used in the treatment of minor forms of skin cancer referred to as superficial basal cell carcinoma, when surgery is not the preferred treatment. Zyclara works by activating the immune system in order to fight abnormal skin growths.
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Zyclara belongs to the immune response modifiers group of drugs and is used in the treatment of various types of skin growths. These skin growths include a certain type of skin cancer (superficial basal cell carcinoma), precancerous growths (actinic keratosis) and warts on the outside of genitals. In treating these conditions, Zyclara reduces complications that may arise. Zyclara works by activating the immune system in order to fight any abnormal skin growths. Zyclara is not recommended for use on children under 12 years of age unless instructed by a medical doctor.
- Actinic keratosis
- Genital warts
- Superficial basal cell carcinoma
Patients should use Zyclara as prescribed by a doctor. Before using Zyclara, patients should thoroughly wash their skin and allow to dry for 10 minutes before application. Zyclara should never be used on skin areas that are burnt, wounded or broken. Actinic Keratosis:
- Zyclara is applied once every day for a period of 2 weeks, followed by 2 weeks without any application. Zyclara should be used before a patient goes to bed and should be left on the skin for 8 hours
- Zyclara should be applied every day for a period that does not exceed 8 weeks. Zyclara should be applied before bedtime and left on the skin for 8 hours
Zyclara Side Effects
Zyclara can cause some side effects, and patients need to be wary of side effects that worsen or become persistent. Common Zyclara side effects
- Vaginal itching or discharge
- Cold sores
- Mild irritation, dryness, crusting, redness, itching, scabbing or hardening at the point where the medication is applied
- Fever blisters
- Loss of appetite
- Back pain
- Chest pain
- Cold symptoms such as sneezing, sore throat, sneezing
- Changes in color of the treated skin
Serious Zyclara side effects
- Body aches
- Swollen glands
- Fever, chills
- Flu symptoms
- Severe swelling around the vagina
- Urination problems
- New unusual skin growths
Drug interactions can affect how Zyclara works; therefore, patients should inform doctors about other drugs in use. It is unlikely for Zyclara to interact with other drugs that are taken orally or injected. However, patients should confirm with the doctor before using other medications that are applied on the skin. Drugs that can cause interaction with Zyclara include: