Chris Schach

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* Fluorouracil cream is used to treat solar keratoses and some types of basal cell carcinomas of the skin.

Fluorouracil cream (Trade names: Efudex, Carac or Fluoroplex) can be used topically for treating solar keratoses and some types of basal cell carcinomas of the skin. Fluorouracil cream destroys sun-damaged skin cells so the skin appears smoother and more youthful. It works best on face and scalp. Occasionally, Fluorouracil can also be used to treat Psoriasis, Viral warts, Genital warts, Disseminated superficial porokeratosis and linear porokeratosis.


Fluorouracil comes as a solution and a cream to apply to the skin. It is usually applied to the affected areas twice a day, and should be applied at the same time each day. If it's being used to treat actinic or solar keratoses, you should continue using it until the lesions start to peel off, usually 2 to 4 weeks (it may take one to two months for the lesions to completely heal). If you are using it to treat basal cell carcinoma, it should be used until the lesions are gone, anywhere from 3 to 12 weeks.

It can be applied with an applicator, a glove, or your finger (you should wash hands immediately after applying if you use your finger).

Side Effects

Side effects may include burning, crusting, redness, discoloration, irritation, pain, itching, rash, or soreness at the site of application. If any of these side effects persist, notify your doctor. More severe side effects may include severe stomach pain, bloody diarrhea, vomiting, fever, chills, and severe red skin rash. Notify your doctor as soon as possible if you experience any of these symptoms.

Notes of Precaution

* Notify your doctor if you are allergic to Fluorouracil or any other medications.

* It's important your doctor know if you have or ever have had dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase (DPD) enzyme deficiency.

* Avoid unnecessary or prolonged exposure to sunlight and to wear protective clothing, sunglasses, and sunscreen. Fluorouracil may make your skin sensitive to sunlight.

* Fluorouracil should be stored at room temperature and out of the reach of children.

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