fluorouracil topical (generic name)

It is used on the skin to treat skin cancer and skin conditions that could become cancer
(flure oh YOOR a sil)
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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 skin conditions that could become cancer.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
  • DPD enzyme deficiency
  • recent or current radiation therapy
  • swelling or open sores at the treatment site
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to fluorouracil, other chemotherapy, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

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.

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.

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.

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.

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:
  • severe redness and swelling of normal skin

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

  • dark colored skin
  • eye irritation including burning, itching, sensitivity, stinging, or watering
  • increased sensitivity of the skin to sun and ultraviolet light
  • pain and burning of the affected area
  • scaling or swelling of the affected area
  • skin rash, itching of the affected area
  • tenderness

Where should I keep my medicine?

Keep out of the reach of children.

Store at room temperature between 15 and 30 degrees C (59 and 86 degrees F). Do not freeze. Keep container tightly closed. Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

Last Updated: April 22, 2009
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