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Side effects can occur with any type of treatment for non-melanoma skin cancer, but not everyone has them or experiences them in the same way. Side effects of imiquimod will depend mainly on:
Side effects can happen any time during, immediately after, or a few days or weeks after biological therapy. Most side effects go away after biological therapy is finished.
It is important to report side effects to the healthcare team.
Some biological therapy drugs, such as imiquimod, can cause minor skin changes or skin irritation. Skin changes can occur during and for some time after biological therapy. Some changes in skin colour may not go away after treatment is finished.
Some other skin changes that can occur include:
Occasionally, topical biological therapy drugs may cause flu-like symptoms. Symptoms may include:
These symptoms often occur immediately following treatment but lessen with time. Flu-like symptoms usually go away with continued therapy, once the body gets used to the drug. Check with the doctor or healthcare team if these symptoms do not go away or are bothersome.
The Canadian Cancer Society’s Cancer Information Service (CIS) is Canada’s only national, bilingual, toll-free service that offers personalized comprehensive cancer information in over 100 languages.