What is this medication?

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 care team before I take this medication?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:

How should I use this medication?

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 medication?

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 medication?

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.

Serious side effects or death can occur if a pet comes into contact with this drug. Contact a vet right away if a pet touches or licks the drug on your skin or comes into contact with the container. Throw away or wash any items used to apply this drug. Wash your hands after applying the drug. Make sure the drug does not get on clothing, carpet, or furniture. If you cannot avoid skin to skin contact with your pet, ask your health care provider if you can cover the area(s) where you apply this drug.

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 medication?

Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

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 medication?

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.

Copyright ©2022 Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved. Terms of Use.

Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy