Zyclara is prescribed to treat dry, scaly precancerous lesions on the skin caused by a disease known as actinic keratosis. This cream is also approved to treat external genital warts and perianal warts. Dosing guidelines will vary, but the cream is usually applied before bedtime, left on for eight hours, and then washed off. Side effects include swelling, redness, and scabbing of the skin.
What Is Zyclara?
Zyclara® (imiquimod cream) is a prescription medication approved to treat actinic keratosis (AK). Actinic keratoses are dry, scaly precancerous patches on the skin. This medication is also approved for the treatment of external genital warts and perianal warts.
Zyclara is made by 3M Health Care Limited for Medicis, The Dermatology Company.
How Does Zyclara Work?
It is not entirely clear how Zyclara works to treat actinic keratosis lesions or genital warts, although it is thought that its effects might be due to activation of the immune system.
This medication has been thoroughly evaluated in clinical studies. These studies compared Zyclara to a placebo (a similar product that does not contain any active ingredients). These studies demonstrated that Zyclara was significantly more effective than the placebo at eliminating actinic keratoses and genital warts. In studies, 23 percent to 46 percent of people using Zyclara had complete disappearance of their actinic keratoses, compared to only 3 percent to 10 percent of people using the placebo.
Similar results were seen for genital or perianal warts. In studies, 27 percent to 29 percent of people using Zyclara had complete disappearance of their warts, compared to only 9 percent to 10 percent of people using a placebo.
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: KristiMonson, PharmD;
List of references (click here):
Zyclara [package insert]. Scottsdale, AZ: Medicis, The Dermatology Company;2011 November.
Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Electronic orange book: approved drug products with therapeutic equivalence evaluations. FDA Web site. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/cder/ob/. Accessed May 13, 2013.
Briggs GG, Freeman RK, Yaffe SJ. Drugs in Pregnancy and Lactation. 8th ed. Philadelphia (PA): Lippincott Williams & Wilkins;2008.
National Library of Medicine (US). Drugs and Lactation Database (LactMED). NLM Web site. Available at: http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/htmlgen?LACT. Accessed January 31, 2012.
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