Common Brand Name(s): Efudex
Important: How To Use This Information
This is a summary and does NOT have all possible information about this product. This information does not assure that this product is safe, effective, or appropriate for you. This information is not individual medical advice and does not substitute for the advice of your health care professional. Always ask your health care professional for complete information about this product and your specific health needs.
This medication is used on the skin to treat pre-cancerous and cancerous skin growths. Fluorouracil belongs to a class of medications known as anti-metabolites. It works by blocking the growth of abnormal cells that cause the skin condition.
How To Use
Read the Patient Information Leaflet provided by your pharmacist before you start using this medication and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, consult your doctor or pharmacist.
Use this medication as directed by your doctor. Before you apply this medication to the skin, clean the affected area and dry well. Wait 10 minutes, then apply a small amount of medication to the affected skin, using just enough to cover the area with a thin film. Wash your hands immediately after applying this medication, even if you have used gloves.
The treated area may become unsightly during treatment and in some cases for several weeks after treatment. Do not cover the area with tight dressings or plastic bandages. Check with your doctor whether you may cover the treated area loosely with gauze.
Avoid applying this medication in or around the eyes or eyelids. Also, do not apply this medication inside the nose or mouth. If you do get the medication in these areas, rinse with plenty of water.
Use this medication exactly as prescribed. Do not stop using this medication without consulting your doctor. Do not increase your dose or use it more often than directed. Your condition will not clear faster, but side effects will be increased.
If your condition worsens or does not improve, consult your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Skin irritation, burning, redness, dryness, pain, swelling, tenderness, or changes in skin color may occur at the site of application. Eye irritation (e.g., stinging, watering), trouble sleeping, irritability, temporary hair loss, or abnormal taste in the mouth may also occur.
If any of these effects persist or worsen, contact your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Tell your doctor right away if any of these rare but very serious side effects occur:
- stomach/abdominal pain
- bloody diarrhea
- signs of infection (e.g., fever, chills, persistent sore throat)
- easy bruising/bleeding
- mouth sores
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any of the following symptoms:
- itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat)
- severe dizziness
- trouble breathing
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Before using fluorouracil, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to flucytosine; or to capecitabine; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients (such as peanut oil found in some brands), which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
This medication should not be used if you have certain medical conditions. Before using this medicine, consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have:
- a certain enzyme deficiency (dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase - DPD)
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: red/irritated/infected/open sores on skin.
This medication may make you more sensitive to the sun. Limit your time in the sun. Avoid tanning booths and sunlamps. Use sunscreen and wear protective clothing when outdoors. After using fluorouracil cream, wait 2 hours before applying sunscreen or moisturizer to the treated area. Do not use other skin products including creams, lotions, medications, or cosmetics unless instructed by your doctor to do so. Tell your doctor right away if you get sunburned or have skin blisters/redness.
This medication must not be used during pregnancy. It may harm an unborn baby. If you become pregnant or think you may be pregnant, inform your doctor right away. Consult your doctor for more details and to discuss reliable forms of birth control.
It is not known if this medication passes into breast milk. Due to the potential risk to a nursing infant, breast-feeding is not recommended while using this drug. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Your doctor or pharmacist may already be aware of any possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for them. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with your doctor or pharmacist first.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all prescription and nonprescription/herbal products you may use.
Keep a list of all your medications with you, and share the list with your doctor and pharmacist.
This medicine may be harmful if swallowed. If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.
Do not share this medication with others.
This medication must be used under close medical supervision. Be sure to keep all your medical appointments so your doctor can monitor your progress or any side effects.
Discard any unused medication when the treatment is finished. Do not use it for any other skin conditions unless directed to do so by your doctor.
There are different brands and forms of this medication available. Not all have identical effects. Do not change brands or forms without consulting your doctor or pharmacist.
If you miss a dose, use it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose. Use your next dose at the regular time. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Store at room temperature between 68-77 degrees F (20-25 degrees C) away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Do not freeze. Keep all medications away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company for more details about how to safely discard your product.
Information last revised June 2018.
Copyright(c) 2018 First Databank, Inc.
Conditions of use: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for the expertise and judgment of healthcare professionals. The information in not intend to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse effects nor should it be construed in indicate that use of a particular drug is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any drug, changing any diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment.