Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

fluorouracil topical

Important Note

Warnings
Uses
Side Effects
Precautions
Interactions
Overdose
fluorouracil topical Uses

This medication is used on the skin to treat pre-cancerous and cancerous skin growths. Fluorouracil belongs to a class of medications known as anti-metabolites. It works by blocking the growth of abnormal cells that cause the skin condition.

How to use fluorouracil topical

Read the Patient Information Leaflet provided by your pharmacist before you start using this medication and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, consult your doctor or pharmacist.

Use this medication as directed by your doctor. Before you apply this medication to the skin, clean the affected area and dry well. Wait 10 minutes, then apply a small amount of medication to the affected skin, using just enough to cover the area with a thin film. Wash your hands immediately after applying this medication, even if you have used gloves.

The treated area may become unsightly during treatment and in some cases for several weeks after treatment. Do not cover the area with tight dressings or plastic bandages. Check with your doctor whether you may cover the treated area loosely with gauze.

Avoid applying this medication in or around the eyes or eyelids. Also, do not apply this medication inside the nose or mouth. If you do get the medication in these areas, rinse with plenty of water.

Use this medication exactly as prescribed. Do not stop using this medication without consulting your doctor. Do not increase your dose or use it more often than directed. Your condition will not clear faster, but side effects will be increased.

If your condition worsens or does not improve, consult your doctor or pharmacist promptly.

fluorouracil topical Side Effects

Skin irritation, burning, redness, dryness, pain, swelling, tenderness, or changes in skin color may occur at the site of application. Eye irritation (e.g., stinging, watering), trouble sleeping, irritability, temporary hair loss, or abnormal taste in the mouth may also occur.

If any of these effects persist or worsen, contact your doctor or pharmacist promptly.

Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

Tell your doctor immediately if any of these rare but very serious side effects occur: stomach/abdominal pain, bloody diarrhea, vomiting, signs of infection (e.g., fever, chills, persistent sore throat), easy bruising/bleeding, mouth sores.

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any of the following symptoms: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.

This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

In the US -

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.

fluorouracil topical Precautions

Before using fluorouracil, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to flucytosine; or to capecitabine; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.

This medication should not be used if you have certain medical conditions. Before using this medicine, consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have: a certain enzyme deficiency (dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase - DPD).

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: red/irritated/infected/open sores on skin.

This medication may make you more sensitive to the sun. Avoid prolonged sun exposure, tanning booths, and sunlamps. Use a sunscreen and wear protective clothing when outdoors. After using fluorouracil cream, wait 2 hours before applying sunscreen or moisturizer to the treated area. Do not use other skin products including creams, lotions, medications, or cosmetics unless instructed by your doctor to do so.

This medication must not be used during pregnancy. It may harm an unborn baby. If you become pregnant or think you may be pregnant, inform your doctor immediately. Consult your doctor for more details and to discuss reliable forms of birth control.

It is not known if this medication passes into breast milk. Due to the potential risk to a nursing infant, breast-feeding is not recommended while using this drug. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.

fluorouracil topical Interactions

Your doctor or pharmacist may already be aware of any possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for them. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with your doctor or pharmacist first.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all prescription and nonprescription/herbal products you may use.

Keep a list of all your medications with you, and share the list with your doctor and pharmacist.

fluorouracil topical Overdose

This medicine may be harmful if swallowed. If swallowing or overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room immediately. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.

NOTES:

Do not share this medication with others.

This medication must be used under close medical supervision. Be sure to keep all your medical appointments so your doctor can monitor your progress or any side effects.

Discard any unused medication when the treatment is finished. Do not use it for any other skin conditions unless directed to do so by your doctor.

There are different brands and forms of this medication available. Not all have identical effects. Do not change brands or forms without consulting your doctor or pharmacist.

MISSED DOSE:

If you miss a dose, use it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.

STORAGE:

Store at room temperature between 68-77 degrees F (20-25 degrees C) away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medications away from children and pets.

Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company for more details about how to safely discard your product.

Information last revised April 2014. Copyright(c) 2014 First Databank, Inc.

See 60 Reviews for this Drug. - OR -

Review this Treatment

Find a Drug:

by name or medical condition or shape/color (Pill Identifier)

(for example: aspirin)

(for example: diabetes)

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
 
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Ask the pharmacist

Questions about medications? Get expert answers by video or live chat about allergies, pregnancy, sleep, and more.
See the Ask the Pharmacist event schedule.

Ask a Question

Popular Slideshows & Tools on WebMD

hands on abdomen
Can you catch one?
Woman sitting in front of UV lights
Is yours working?
woman using breath spray
What's causing yours?
womans hand on abdomen
Are you ready for baby?
MS Overview
Recognizing symptoms.
bowl of yogurt with heart shape
Eat for a healthy heart.
woman doing pushups
To help you get fit.
Colored x-ray of tooth decay
Know what to look for.
Woman sitting with child
Do you know the symptoms?
mosquito
Stings, bites, burns, and more.
Allentown, PA
Are you living in one?
Thyroid exam
See how much you know.

Women's Health Newsletter

Find out what women really need.

WebMD the app

Get trusted health information. Whenever. Wherever... with your iPhone, iPad or Android.

Find Out More

IMPORTANT: About This Section and Other User-Generated Content on WebMD

The opinions expressed in WebMD User-generated content areas like communities, reviews, ratings, or blogs are solely those of the User, who may or may not have medical or scientific training. These opinions do not represent the opinions of WebMD. User-generated content areas are not reviewed by a WebMD physician or any member of the WebMD editorial staff for accuracy, balance, objectivity, or any other reason except for compliance with our Terms and Conditions. Some of these opinions may contain information about treatment or uses of drug products that have not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. WebMD does not endorse any specific product, service, or treatment.

Do not consider WebMD User-generated content as medical advice. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified healthcare provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your care plan or treatment. WebMD understands that reading individual, real-life experiences can be a helpful resource but it is never a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from a qualified health care provider. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or dial 911 immediately.