Recurrent respiratory papillomatosis (RRP) is a chronic and difficult to treat disease of the larynx. In 1998, the first article was published that described the use of the antiviral substance cidofovir to treat this disease. Although the results are promising, there remains some concern about the potential carcinogenicity of cidofovir. There is a demand for a qualitative review of the side-effects of this medicine. In this review, the side-effects of cidofovir are investigated. Special attention was given to the potential carcinogenicity of cidofovir. For this review a search is performed in PubMed and EMBASE for relevant articles in which the use of intralesional cidofovir for patients with RRP is described. Eventually, 31 articles could be included for this review. In these articles a total of 188 patients with RRP were described who underwent therapy with intralesional cidofovir. Five of these patients have developed dysplasia of the larynx during the treatment with cidofovir. This is a percentage of 2.7. This percentage is concurrent with the incidence of spontaneous malignant degeneration of RRP (2–3%). Based on this review, it can be concluded that the use of intralesional cidofovir does not increase the risk of laryngeal dysplasia. Apart from the articles that describe the intralesional administration of cidofovir, some articles have been published in which the use of intravenous cidofovir is described as a therapy for RRP. Therefore, a summary is given on the side-effects of intralesional cidofovir as well as a summary on the reported side-effects of the intravenous administration of cidofovir. Based on the outcomes of this review, recommendations are given for a safe use of cidofovir for treatment of recurrent respiratory papillomatosis in the future.