Fluorouracil - Topical/Cutaneous

Patient Medicine Information
Why do I need this medicine?
Fluorouracil is used to treat actinic keratoses (a skin condition characterised by dry, scaly or crusty patches that develop due to years of sun exposure).

This medicine may also be used to treat simple skin cancers.
How do I use this medicine?
Apply Fluorouracil exactly as directed by your doctor or according to the instructions on the label. Do not use more often or over a larger area than instructed by your doctor.

This medicine is available as a cream or solution.

How to use this medicine:
  1. Wash your hands.
  2. Clean and dry affected area before application.
  3. Using a non-metal applicator or a glove, apply over the affected area. If applied with a fingertip, wash hands thoroughly after application. Do not cover, wrap or bandage the area unless instructed by the doctor.
  4. Wash your hands after using.
  5. Replace the cap of the tube or bottle.
Fluorouracil must be applied regularly for it to be effective. Your doctor will advise you on the treatment timeframe depending on the type and severity of your condition.
What should I do if I have forgotten to use this medicine?
Apply the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and return to your normal dosing schedule.

DO NOT double a dose to make up for a missed dose.

If you often forget to apply your medicine, let your doctor and pharmacist know.
When should I not use this medicine?
Some genetic traits may affect an individual’s response to Fluorouracil. Individuals who have a deficiency in the activity of the enzyme dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase (DPD) may experience severe side effects e.g. diarrhoea, abdominal pain, fever and chills. Your doctor may need to perform genetic testing to know if this medicine is suitable for you. 

Do not use Fluorouracil if you know that you do not have any activity of dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase (DPD) enzyme.

Do not use this medicine if you are pregnant. If you become pregnant while on Fluorouracil therapy, alert your doctor immediately. This medicine may cause harm to your unborn child. You must use proven birth control methods during Fluorouracil therapy and 1 month after stopping the treatment.

Do not use this medicine if you are breastfeeding.

Do not use Fluorouracil with medicines used to treat viral infections, such as brivudine and sorivudine.
What should I take note of while using this medicine?
Avoid any contact of this medicine with your eyes, nose or mouth.
What side effects could I experience?
Fluorouracil may cause any of the following side effects: pain, redness, swelling, burning sensation or itching of the skin.

This medicine may also make your skin more sensitive to sunlight. Apply sunscreen when going outdoors and avoid prolonged exposure to sunlight and UV lamps.

Some side effects may need immediate medical help. Alert your doctor quickly if you experience any of the following:
  • abdominal pain
  • bloody diarrhoea
  • fever or chills
Inform your doctor if any of these side effects do not go away or are severe, or if you experience other side effects.
Can I use this with other medicines?
Do not use Fluorouracil if you are taking brivudine and sorivudine (medicines used to treat viral infections).

Always notify your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including herbal tonics, supplements and medicines that you buy without a prescription.
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Avoid alcohol.
How should I store this medicine?
Store in a cool, dry place away from the reach of children.

Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.

As Fluorouracil is a cancer medicine, always return any unused or expired medicine to the clinic, hospital or pharmacy for disposal. Do not throw it away in the normal household waste.
This information is independently developed by MIMS based on Fluorouracil - Topical/Cutaneous and is provided for your reference only. It is not a replacement for and should only be used in conjunction with full consultation with a licensed healthcare professional, the information provided by your pharmacist and/or the manufacturer of the medication. It may not contain all the available information you require and cannot substitute professional medical care, nor does it take into account all individual circumstances. Although great effort has been made to ensure content accuracy, we shall not be held responsible or liable for any claims or damages arising from the use or misuse of the information contained herein, its contents or omissions, or otherwise. Copyright © 2021 MIMS. All rights reserved. Powered by MIMS.com
Exclusive offer for doctors
Register for a MIMS account and receive free medical publications worth $768 a year.
Sign up for free
Already a member? Sign in