Generic Name: fluorouracil (FLURE-oh-UE-ra-sil)
Brand Name: Examples include Carac and Fluoroplex
Fluorouracil cream is used for:
Treating multiple actinic or solar keratoses (skin growths caused by exposure to sunlight). It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.
Fluorouracil cream is an antineoplastic. It works by blocking the growth of certain cells. This causes cell death.
Do NOT use fluorouracil cream if:
- you are allergic to any ingredient in fluorouracil cream
- you are pregnant or may become pregnant
- you have the metabolic disorder dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase (DPD) enzyme deficiency
Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.
Before using fluorouracil cream:
Some medical conditions may interact with fluorouracil cream. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:
- if you are planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
- if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
- if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
- if the area of skin being treated is damaged or inflamed, or has open sores
Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with fluorouracil cream. Because little, if any, of fluorouracil cream is absorbed into the blood, the risk of it interacting with another medicine is low.
Ask your health care provider if fluorouracil cream may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.
How to use fluorouracil cream:
Use fluorouracil cream as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.
- Use a nonmetallic applicator or wear rubber gloves while applying fluorouracil cream.
- Gently wash the area where you will apply fluorouracil cream. Rinse well, pat dry with a towel, and wait 10 minutes before applying fluorouracil cream.
- Apply enough of fluorouracil cream to cover the affected area.
- Wash your hands immediately after applying fluorouracil cream, unless they are part of the treated area.
- Do not bandage or cover the treated area, unless directed to do so by your doctor.
- Fluorouracil cream is for external use only. Do not get it in your eyes, nose, mouth, or genital area. If you get it in your eyes, rinse with a generous amount of cool water right away and contact your doctor.
- If you miss a dose of fluorouracil cream, use it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose. Go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not use 2 doses at once.
Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use fluorouracil cream.
Important safety information:
- Complete healing of the lesions may not occur for 1 to 2 months after you stop using fluorouracil cream.
- The treated areas may be unattractive during therapy and for several weeks after treatment has stopped.
- Fluorouracil cream may cause you to become sunburned more easily. Avoid the sun, sunlamps, or tanning booths until you know how you react to fluorouracil cream. Use a sunscreen or wear protective clothing if you must be outside for more than a short time.
- Do not use other medicines or products on the treated area without first checking with your doctor.
- Do not use fluorouracil cream for future skin problems without first checking with your doctor.
- Lab tests, including biopsies, may be performed while you use fluorouracil cream. These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
- Fluorouracil cream should be used with extreme caution in CHILDREN; safety and effectiveness in children have not been determined.
- PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: Do not use fluorouracil cream if you are pregnant. It may cause harm to the fetus. Avoid becoming pregnant while you are taking it. If you think you may be pregnant, contact your doctor right away. It is not known if fluorouracil cream is found in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while taking fluorouracil cream.
Possible side effects of fluorouracil cream:
All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:
Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:
Burning, crusting, redness, pain, soreness, inflammation, or irritation of the skin.
Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); bloody diarrhea; change in skin color; chills; fever; scarring or sores on the treated area; severe or persistent burning, crusting, redness, pain, soreness, inflammation, or irritation of the skin; severe stomach pain; vomiting.
This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.
If OVERDOSE is suspected:
Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center ( http://www.aapcc.org), or emergency room immediately. Fluorouracil cream may be harmful if swallowed.Proper storage of fluorouracil cream:
Store fluorouracil cream at 77 degrees F (25 degrees C). Brief storage at temperatures between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C) is permitted. Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep fluorouracil cream out of the reach of children and away from pets.
- If you have any questions about fluorouracil cream, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- Fluorouracil cream is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
- If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
- Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.
This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take fluorouracil cream or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about fluorouracil cream. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to fluorouracil cream. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using fluorouracil cream.
Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.