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What is it? Overview Usage Side Effects and Warnings

Fluorouracil Overview

Written by FoundHealth.

(flure oh YOOR a sil)

U.S. Brand Names

Adrucil®; Carac®; Efudex®; Fluoroplex®; Fluorouracil® [DSC]

Canadian Brand Names


Mexican Brand Names

Efudix; Tecflu

Pharmacologic Category

Antineoplastic Agent, Antimetabolite (Pyrimidine Analog)

What key warnings should I know about before taking this medicine?

• Injection: This medicine is very strong. It can prevent your bone marrow from making some of the cells that your body needs. You will need weekly blood work to watch for side effects. Skin: Some patients may develop low white blood cell counts. Tell healthcare provider right away about any fever, sore throat, signs of infection, bleeding, shortness of breath, or feeling tired.

• This medicine does not mix well with many medicines. Serious reactions may occur. Check all medicines with healthcare provider.

Reasons not to take this medicine

• If you have an allergy to fluorouracil or any other part of this medicine.

• Tell healthcare provider if you are allergic to any medicine. Make sure to tell about the allergy and how it affected you. This includes telling about rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other symptoms involved.

• If you have any of the following conditions: Bone marrow disease, dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase deficiency, low blood cell count, major surgery in the past month, or serious infection.

• If you are pregnant or may be pregnant.

• If you are breast-feeding.

How does it work?

• Fluorouracil injures cancer cells causing their death.

How is it best taken?


• This medicine is given as a shot into a vein.


• Do not take this medicine by mouth. For skin only. Keep out of mouth, nose, and eyes (may burn).

• Wash hands before and after use.

• Clean affected area before use. Make sure to dry well.

• Wait 10 minutes before use.

• Apply a thin layer to the affected skin and rub in gently.

• Do not cover with dressings.

What do I do if I miss a dose? (does not apply to patients in the hospital)


• Call healthcare provider for appointment.


• Apply a missed dose as soon as possible.

• If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and return to your regular schedule.

• Do not apply a double dose or extra doses.

What should I monitor?

All forms:

• Change in condition being treated. Is it better, worse, or about the same?

• Follow up with healthcare provider.


• Check blood work to help prevent side effects. Talk with healthcare provider.

How should I store this medicine?


• This medicine will be given to you in a healthcare setting. You will not store it at home.


• Store at room temperature. Do not freeze.

General statements

• If you have a life-threatening allergy, wear allergy identification at all times.

• Do not share your medicine with others and do not take anyone else's medicine.

• Keep all medicine out of the reach of children and pets.

• Most medicines can be thrown away in household trash after mixing with coffee grounds or kitty litter and sealing in a plastic bag.

• Keep a list of all your medicines (prescription, natural products, supplements, vitamins, over-the-counter) with you. Give this list to healthcare provider (doctor, nurse, nurse practitioner, pharmacist, physician assistant).

• Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or in Canada to Health Canada's Canada Vigilance Program at 1-866-234-2345.

• Talk with healthcare provider before starting any new medicine, including over-the-counter, natural products, or vitamins.

Created: 2005-04-07 16:42:40.0

Modified: 2010-03-09 08:28:46.0

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