Efudex (Fluorouracil topical, Carac, Fluoroplex, 5-fluorouracil, 5-FU)
Warning: With Efudex, applications to the mucous membrane should be
avoided because the chances of ulceration and inflammation. There have been cases of miscarriage and a birth defect
(ventricular septal defect) when this medication has been used on pregnant women’s mucous
Occlusion of the skin included with
hydration has been shown to increase percutaneous penetration of many topical treatments that have been used for
basal cell carcinoma. There are reports of increased inflammation of the adjacent skin while using this
medication. Your doctor may allow you to wear gauze for cosmetic reasons.
Indications: This treatment is used on the skin to
treat precancerous and cancerous growths. Fluorouracil belongs to a class of medication called anti-metabolites.
It works by blocking the growth of abnormal cells that cause the growth.
Efudex is, most of the times, used in the treatment of these skin affections:
cell cancer of the skin
keratosis, a skin condition that can lead to skin cancer
Dosage: Read the patient leaflet your
pharmacist provides you before using Efudex. If you have any questions call your doctor or
applying this treatment clean your skin and then wait 10 minutes, then apply this medication with a very thin
layer to the affected area. Wash your hands after contact, even if you wore gloves.
that is treated may become unsightly while using this medication and possibly several weeks after. Do not use
tight dressings or plastic bandages and ask your doctor if gauze is ok to use.
using this medication around any area of your eyes, including the eyelids. If you come in contact with this
medication in your eyes, inside the nose or mouth rinse with plenty of water.
medication exactly how your doctor prescribes it. Do not increase your dosage, as your side effects will
increase without advances in healing. If your condition does not improve, talk to your doctor about other
It is important that
you use Efudex exactly as indicated by your physician or pharmacist; in case you forgot to apply the
medication, apply the missed dose as soon as you remember it; if it is almost time for the next dose, skip
the missed dose and continue your regular dosing. Double dose is not recommended.
Store Efudex at room temperature and out of reach of children. The drug should not be kept in the light or
moisture. After use, do not throw the container in the garbage. For more information on proper disposal of Efudex,
talk to your physician or pharmacist.
Tell your doctor of any allergies you may have, as inactive ingredients in this medication may cause allergic
reactions. This medication should not be used if you have a certain enzyme deficiency (
dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase – DPD). Tell your doctor of any skin redness/irritated/open sores on the skin. Sun
exposure may increase sun damage while using Efudex. Wait 2 hours after applying this medication before using
moisturizer or sunscreen.
Interactions: Your doctor and pharmacist should
know any interactions of Efudex. You should always keep a list of all the medications you are on to avoid any
possible interactions. Do not stop, start, or change any doses of your treatments without first talking to your
Efudex is not recommended in the following conditions:
to fluorouracil or any of its components
can be applied to the skin of infants and children, but under the strict supervision of a
Side effects: in some patients, Efudex can
cause the following skin reactions:
If the side
effects above persist for days or weeks, contact your oncologist. In addition, contact your doctor immediately
if you experience any of these symptoms:
red skin rash