Also known as: Carac, Efudex, Efudex Occlusion Pack, Fluoroplex
The following information is NOT intended to endorse drugs or recommend therapy. While these reviews might be helpful, they are not a substitute for the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgement of healthcare practitioners in patient care.
fluorouracil for Basal Cell Carcinoma: My doctor found what he thought might be burgeoning skin cancer on my bald head. First time, he 'burned' them off with whatever he sprayed on my head. Next visit (way later on) he said the spots hadn't gone away. He prescribed "Carac" (fluorouracil) if I could afford it. Over $400/tube! But my insurance paid up to the $20 I had to pay, so I went for it. Four weeks of dabbing this stuff on my head, and the pre-cancerous spots are gone. During the treatment my head got all scabby and red. Had to buy some cheapo pillow cases because I would end up bleeding on them at night. I guess the scabs got rubbed off as I tossed and turned. Anyway, I'm totally satisfied with the outcome and would recommend this cream to anyone who can afford it.
fluorouracil for Skin Cancer: Used Efudex 7 years ago. Now using Carac 0.5%. Apparently the same dosage of Fluorouracil but in a different cream base. My dermatologist said that the Carac seems to be less aggressive. Only use once a day versus twice with Efudex. From my memory of Efudex, Carac seems much less raw so far. Still have the redness and tenderness but much more tolerable. One more week to go. Not sure on cost. Insurance covered it, luckily. (using tazarotine with Carac on scalp which helps absorption - skin is tougher)
fluorouracil for Actinic Keratosis: I was a "beach baby", dropped off at the beach althrough high school us girls would plaster ourselves with baby oil and sun-in our hair, spent time in sun tanning beds to get that California tan, but here I am 56 years old going through treatment. Like everyone here, yes it is itchy and unsightly to be seen in public. Feels like falling on asphalt scraped on your face, but it gets better. I finished treatment worried I was going to be left with a pinkish red scar across my forehead but from the time it started drying out and became itchy and rough like a bad sunburn I used Neosporin "cream" with pain medication on it during the day and at night used Neosporin gel and little by little the pinkness is going away and its only been a week!
Efudex (fluorouracil) for Skin Cancer: Im treating slightly raised warts which only partially respond to tea tree oil, EGCG cream, tazarotene and many herbal ointment containing thuja plus etc essential oils. To those wanting to use Efudex, there are articles stating 1% /0.5% are better tolerated, compared with 5%. But Carac is magnitude more expensive. I guess the lower % is less irritating as normal cells are not absorbing as much. If you have deep growth, 5FU may cause significant inflammation/edema that may be excruciatingly painful .I found using oral Serrapeptase 120k Ux2(empty stomach) helps a lot in terms of managing inflammation and pain. It seems the warts are responding dramatically
fluorouracil for Actinic Keratosis: I have used this product for a couple of years. My regimen is to use it for 4-6 weeks, then give my skin a break. I repeat the process about every 3 months. It took me a long time to damage my skin in the sun, I don't expect it to clear up over night.
10 users found this comment helpful.
fluorouracil for Actinic Keratosis: I am on day 6 of a 21 day prescription, and am finally seeing and feeling the redness, tight skin, and itching all over my face. I am very worried about what I will look like at the end of August when school starts (first day of school will be 8 days after treatment stops); I am a teacher and don't want to scare off my new students. I am thankful for the relief suggestions posted here, and I am also thankful that I did not procrastinate and I am getting this taken care of. I have seen many people with parts of their faces- ears, noses) removed due to cancers, so I think of the "after" to get me emotionally strong enough to bear these next few weeks. Thanks for sharing your experiences.
19 users found this comment helpful.
Review by Anonymous (taken for less than 1 month):
fluorouracil for Actinic Keratosis: Same as everyone else...very uncomfortable and hard to look at. Dr says many people go too far by continuing application of cream after 15 days. Stop. My dermatologist prescribed a steroid cream to relieve swelling and quicken the healing process.
San Diego born and raised and growing up without sunscreen, there is a lot of sun damage that will be gone.
13 users found this comment helpful.
Review by outdooraussie (taken for less than 1 month):
Efudex (fluorouracil) for Skin Cancer: Age 66 - spent many years at sea and as you can imagine my facial skin was a mess. Doctor put me on Ufedix (how it is called here) two weeks ago and the results are amazing. Of course it is not a pretty sight and sleeping is a bit difficult, the reaction was clearly pictured in the brochure that I was given at the clinic - but it does not truly describe the actual sensations associated with the inflamation. A little concerned I browsed for reviews and found this sight - after reading the experiences of other users I feel much releaved - thanks to all for sharing their experiences, now I am looking forward to seeing the end result. Stay safe and keep well. Thank you.
43 users found this comment helpful.
Efudex (fluorouracil) for Actinic Keratosis: Used the product on my face for 6 weeks twice a day for two days every week. Depending on the extent of sun damage, the effects are dramatic and nasty looking. After the 2nd week the treated area looks like a bad sun burn, it itches, peels, weeps, bleeds and burns. But the results after stopping for 3-4 weeks are very good.
45 users found this comment helpful.
Efudex (fluorouracil) for Actinic Keratosis: Be careful not to exceed time period recommended otherwise there will be extreme redness and pain. On the whole it seems to work but I have still got red skin after a few days without using it. Doctor recommended following with Eumovate but I'm not too happy with results.
23 users found this comment helpful.
fluorouracil for Actinic Keratosis: I'm on day 18. Third day after stopping the cream. The first 14 days weren't so painful mainly uncomfortable. Today there is more tightness, dryness, itchiness and burning but still tolerable.
18 users found this comment helpful.
fluorouracil for Actinic Keratosis: I am on day 12. It is very painful I can't imagine continuing to apply the cream for full 14 day treatment. Although after reading this forum I will continue as it sounds normal to feel pain at this point. I have heard the reaction is stronger between 2 to 4 weeks so I'm anxious thinking this could only get worse. Any help on that subject would be appreciated. I can apply the cream for 2 more days if I know that it can only get better. It seems weird to apply cream to such irritated areas thinking I'm just gonna make it worse. I have had stomach surgery and given birth to 2 children and this is almost more painful. I am confident the results will be worth it in the end though. My doctor prescribed a steroid cream.
16 users found this comment helpful.
fluorouracil for Actinic Keratosis: I am a 56 year old male, on Day 6 of the fluorouracil 5% topical treatment on my face and bald head. No problems so far; skin is getting a little red and splotchy, but not too noticeable yet. Just wanted to thank everyone for their comments - very, very helpful and comforting to hear about the problems and possible solutions, and the successes. Thank you!! Very helpful and comforting.
16 users found this comment helpful.
Carac (fluorouracil) for Basal Cell Carcinoma: I've been using Carac off and on for over a year. I did my face for three weeks, then my chest, then my back. I am now going back over specific areas of my face. This cream is amazing. It is somewhat painful and quite unattractive visually as you are going through the treatment, but the results are worth it. My skin doesn't have rough red patches of scaly skin anymore and no more discoloration. I would definitely recommend it!
62 users found this comment helpful.
Carac (fluorouracil) for Actinic Keratosis: Was using Efudex which had harsh side effects (redness, sewlling). Doc then switched me to Carac - in same chemical class as Efudex but milder, yet very effective for me.
28 users found this comment helpful.
fluorouracil for Actinic Keratosis: The first treatment was rough, but since then its easier every time and I only need treatments about every five years now. It takes a week longer to work on the body. Time your treatments for when you can keep your body covered and minimize public exposure. I like to start in early October so I'm presentable by the holidays. Do a different area every year until you're clear, e.g. arms and legs, trunk, and face and hands. Do the hands with the face because you can't hide them when you're in public, so you might as well do them both at a time when you can minimize your exposure to people. While doing the body, be careful of migration of the medicine to the face on your sheets and by touching your face. You will look younger.
27 users found this comment helpful.
fluorouracil for Actinic Keratosis: So glad to find this forum. I'm 8 days into treatment and boy am I splotchy bright red on my face. I can tell it's working but I didn't follow my doctors suggestion that I wait until late fall to start treatment.
About my 3rd day of treatment I slathered Banana Boat SPF30 sunscreen right after applying fluorouracil. It burned for 3 days. I'm 60 and fair complexion. I've spent many hours on the water and my forehead, nose, temples were cracking and scaly, often bleeding when irritated. Doctor said my damage was too widespread for other methods of treatment. I think it's working but I'm sure looking forward to getting this next week over. I'm using baby oil and Neosporin as well as some fancy oil my wife gave me to keep skin moist.
16 users found this comment helpful.
Efudex (fluorouracil) for Skin Cancer: Efudex successfully combated skin abnormalities that my doctor had cancer concerns about. I used Efudex for ten days and then stopped because of blistering; they were small, but covered my face. It's been almost two months after my treatment and I still have an unsightly, coarse rash. The steriod cream I used five days afterwards eased the appearance of the rash, but because of concerns over skin thinning, I could not continue with the cream.
34 users found this comment helpful.
fluorouracil for Basal Cell Carcinoma: I'm on the second round treating my face. I had some suspicious spots that were all removed with first treatment. I'm doing it again for maintanence and only have a few spots. I highly recommend trying this product. I'm grateful that my GP prescribed it and wonder why my dermatologist did not.
13 users found this comment helpful.
Efudex (fluorouracil) for Actinic Keratosis: I'm an engineer, now in my 60s, and I have worked outside all my life. I have red hair and fair complexion you can imagine the skin damage I have accumulated in my lifetime. I had used the Efudex 5% cream years ago and had good results. Three months ago I began seeing a dermatologist that recommended the "new" technology "BLUE LIGHT TREATMENTS". This did NOT work for me gave me a very mild "sunburn" with no apparent effect on the former skin damage and it was very expensive even after insurance coverage! I requested my treatment be changed to the proven Efudex my doctor insisted I stay with the "blue light", that my skin was "in very good condition" and that I only needed "maintenance".
As you may guess I have changed physicians and now I am being treated with Efudex again. My skin is now in full reaction after only two weeks treatment with Efudex. Yes with Efudex your skin is unsightly and uncomfortable from week 2 through to week 4; but, this is a small price to be cancer free. Efudex works!
100 users found this comment helpful.
Carac (fluorouracil) for Actinic Keratosis: I just finished a 14 day usage of Carac, as prescribed by my skin doctor. After the first two days my skin started to turn red, by the 7th it started to flake and the areas that I needed to apply it to ( cheeks, temples and forehead ) turned dark red, like a bad sunburn. Days 8 -14 were the worst as to pain on these areas when showering in lukewarm water or washing from sink bowl, either way I could feel a burning sensation, as well as light bleeding at some areas on the next to last day. Flaking of skin and itchy feeling now that treatment is done. I wonder how long before my skin color returns to normal. Would I do this again? Yes
65 users found this comment helpful.
Carac (fluorouracil) for Actinic Keratosis: Just finished my 4 week course of Carac cream. Here is my advice. MOISTURIZE, MOISTURIZE, MOISTURIZE! I went to Rite-Aide and purchased a large bottle of Vitamin E and ALOE gel moisturizer (nothing with alcohol, which will burn or oil, which is difficult to remove) as well as a bottle of Baby Wash (you know, "no more tears"). Only wash your affected area (mine was face and scalp) with the baby wash (doesn't dry out skin) and once the Carac has been applied, wait about 1/2 hour and begin applying the moisturizer. I used the moisturizer heavily 5 or 6 times per day. It soaked right up and worked great. Felt like a light sun-burn with moderate peeling and when I was done and I healed up in a snap.
105 users found this comment helpful.
Carac (fluorouracil) for Actinic Keratosis: I am on day 14 of using Carac. My face is extremely red, tight, itchy and a little sore, but I've had serious eczema in the past and this isn't nearly as bad as that was. It took about a week to show up on my forehead but then a couple more days they started intensifying on my cheeks, chin and sides of my face. It is a little unsightly but once I explained to people what was going on and that it wasn't permanent or contagious they seemed to relax. I tried Vaseline for moisturizing but that seems too greasy. Products with zinc oxide in them seem to give me relief and protect me from the sun as well. Please do not spend ANY time in the sun when using this. The doctor told me it could permanently make your skin darker in those areas!
94 users found this comment helpful.
Efudex (fluorouracil): I am currently using Efudex for the second time. My first experience was 11 years ago. The issues were exactly as shared by many others. I was a mess! It is very mentally challenging to go through this, but I can assure you it is very much worth making the commitment to complete a full course of therapy. It was absolutely amazing how clear, smooth, and clean my face looked about a month after stopping treatment (I used a topical steriod afterwards). People actually thought I had some plastic surgery (face lift?). I am at it again, just having completed my first week. While I remain self-conscious about how bad I look, it bothers me much less because I know the outcome will be well worth it. Hang in there!
75 users found this comment helpful.
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