What is this medicine?
FLUOROURACIL, 5-FU (flure oh YOOR a sil) is a chemotherapy agent. It is used on the skin to treat skin cancer and certain types of skin conditions that could become cancer.
This medicine may be used for other purposes; ask your health care provider or pharmacist if you have questions.
COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Carac, Efudex, Fluoroplex, Tolak
What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
- dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase (DPD) deficiency
- an unusual or allergic reaction to fluorouracil, other chemotherapy, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
- pregnant or trying to get pregnant
How should I use this medicine?
This medicine is only for use on the skin. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Wash hands before and after use. Wash affected area and gently pat dry. To apply this medicine use a cotton-tipped applicator, or use gloves if applying with fingertips. If applied with unprotected fingertips, it is very important to wash your hands well after you apply this medicine. Avoid applying to the eyes, nose, or mouth. Apply enough medicine to cover the affected area. You can cover the area with a light gauze dressing, but do not use tight or air-tight dressings. Finish the full course prescribed by your doctor or health care professional, even if you think your condition is better. Do not stop taking except on the advice of your doctor or health care professional.
Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.
Overdosage: If you think you have taken too much of this medicine contact a poison control center or emergency room at once.
NOTE: This medicine is only for you. Do not share this medicine with others.
What if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose, apply it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, only use that dose. Do not apply extra doses. Contact your doctor or health care professional if you miss more than one dose.
What may interact with this medicine?
Interactions are not expected. Do not use any other skin products without telling your doctor or health care professional.
This list may not describe all possible interactions. Give your health care provider a list of all the medicines, herbs, non-prescription drugs, or dietary supplements you use. Also tell them if you smoke, drink alcohol, or use illegal drugs. Some items may interact with your medicine.
What should I watch for while using this medicine?
Visit your doctor or health care professional for checks on your progress. You will need to use this medicine for 2 to 6 weeks. This may be longer depending on the condition being treated. You may not see full healing for another 1 to 2 months after you stop using the medicine.
Treated areas of skin can look unsightly during and for several weeks after treatment with this medicine.
Do not get this medicine in your eyes. If you do, rinse out with plenty of cool tap water.
This medicine can make you more sensitive to the sun. Keep out of the sun. If you cannot avoid being in the sun, wear protective clothing and use sunscreen. Do not use sun lamps or tanning beds/booths.
If a pet comes in contact with the area where this medicine was applied to your skin or if it is ingested, they may have a serious risk of side effects. If accidental contact happens, the skin of the pet should be washed right away with soap and water. Contact your vet right away if your pet becomes exposed.
Do not become pregnant while taking this medicine or for 1 month after stopping it. Women should inform their doctor if they wish to become pregnant or think they might be pregnant. There is a potential for serious side effects to an unborn child. Talk to your health care professional or pharmacist for more information.
What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?
Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
- allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue
- bloody diarrhea
- fever or chills
- stomach pain
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):
- redness or dry skin
- sensitivity to light
This list may not describe all possible side effects. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Where should I keep my medicine?
Keep out of the reach of children and pets.
See product for storage instructions. Each product may have different instructions. Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.
NOTE: This sheet is a summary. It may not cover all possible information. If you have questions about this medicine, talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider.