The Treatment of Actinic Keratoses with a Combination of 5-Fluorouracil and Imiquimod Creams
August 2007 | Volume 6 | Issue 8 | Original Article | 778 | Copyright © August 2007
Norman M. Price MD
Background: 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) and imiquimod creams are accepted topical therapies for actinic keratosis (AK). Both are associated with a prolonged course of treatment with an inflammatory response that may preclude the treatment process. Objectives: To describe the treatment regimen and the extent of side effects in the use of the combined application of 5-FU and imiquimod creams in patients presenting with AKs and to demonstrate the convenience and ease of the methodology of this regimen. Methods: The patients applied 5-FU and imiquimod creams to their lesions daily for one week each month over the course of 3 months. The patients were seen after the completion of each one-week course to evaluate their progress and side effects. Results: There were 64 patients in the study, 48 of whom completed the study and demonstrated a clearing of their AKs by the end of the third course of treatment. All of the patients developed an inflammatory response at the sites of their AKs as well as at subclinical sites with no apparent AKs. Nearly all of these inflammatory reactions were confined to localized sites without involvement of the surrounding skin. Conclusions: Therapy with the combined application of 5-FU and imiquimod creams is a relatively rapid and convenient form of therapy as compared to the separate use of each medication.