Aldara Molluscum (Imiquimod)
Aldara (Imiquimod) 5% cream is approved by the
FDA for the treatment of external anogenital warts,
actinic keratoses (pre-skin cancers) and superficial basal
cell skin cancers. In addition to these approved uses, it
is used for many other conditions "off label."
Aldara works by activating specific receptors in the body
known as Toll-like receptors (specifically TLR-7). By
activating these receptors, Aldara causes the body's immune
system to produce certain cytokines (natural chemicals),
specifically interferon alpha, which helps the immune
system to fight both viruses and tumors. It is because of
this mechanism that aldara molluscum therapy
may in theory be successful.
Clinical studies have shown that imiquimod
molluscum therapy is in fact
successful1-3. The studies show that
approximately 50% of children treated show improvement or
complete clearance. Treatment ranges from 12-16 weeks
with average applications being 3 time a week.
In general, Aldara is very well tolerated and safe.
There may at times be a local reaction consisting of redness,
itching and irritation surrounding the molluscum lesions.
The treatment is used in the convenience of the patient's home
and is easy to apply. Treatment durations of 3-4 months
however can be long making compliance a bit more difficult than
some of the other molluscum treatments.
In summary, aldara molluscum treatment can be seen as a safe
potential therapeutic option that works about half of the time
and may take up to 4 months for complete success.
Pediatr Int. 2006
2004 Aug;74(2):134-8, 141-2.
3Br J Dermatol.
2003 Nov;149 Suppl 66:25-9.
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