- Psoriasis Slideshow: Symptoms, Causes and Treatment
- Psoriasis Quiz: Test Your Medical IQ
- Moderate to Severe Forms of Psoriasis Slideshow
- What is fluorouracil-topical-carac-efudex-fluoroplex, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
- What brand names are available for fluorouracil-topical-carac-efudex-fluoroplex?
- Do I need a prescription for fluorouracil-topical-carac-efudex-fluoroplex?
- What are the uses for fluorouracil-topical-carac-efudex-fluoroplex?
- What are the side effects of fluorouracil-topical-carac-efudex-fluoroplex?
- What is the dosage for fluorouracil-topical-carac-efudex-fluoroplex?
- Which drugs or supplements interact with fluorouracil-topical-carac-efudex-fluoroplex?
- Is fluorouracil-topical-carac-efudex-fluoroplex safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
- What else should I know about fluorouracil-topical-carac-efudex-fluoroplex?
What is fluorouracil-topical-carac-efudex-fluoroplex, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
- Topical fluorouracil is a drug that is used to treat conditions of the skin in which there is rapid multiplication (division) of cells, for example, skin cancer. In order to multiply or divide, cells must produce DNA for each new cell. The DNA is critical since it is the genetic material that directs the activity of all cells. Production of DNA depends on the production of RNA which serves as a messenger during the production of DNA. Fluorouracil prevents the formation of RNA which, in turn, prevents the formation of DNA. As a result, cells cannot multiply. With continued treatment, the remaining cells also die.
- The FDA approved fluorouracil in July 1970.
What brand names are available for fluorouracil-topical-carac-efudex-fluoroplex?
Carac, Efudex, Fluoroplex, Tolak
What are the uses for fluorouracil-topical-carac-efudex-fluoroplex?
- Topical fluorouracil is used to treat certain skin conditions in which cells are multiplying rapidly.
- It is used to treat cancerous or precancerous conditions including solar keratoses, actinic keratosis, superficial basal cell carcinoma, and Bowen's disease (a type of skin cancer).
- It also is used to treat some noncancerous conditions in which cells are dividing rapidly, including psoriasis, genital warts, and porokeratosis (an unusual inherited skin condition causing dry patches on the arms and legs).
- Fluorouracil works best on the face and scalp, and is less effective on other areas of the body. It also destroys sun-damaged skin cells making the skin smoother and more youthful-appearing.
What are the side effects of fluorouracil-topical-carac-efudex-fluoroplex?
Common side effects of topical fluorouracil include:
Common side effects include:
- Burning sensation
- Sun sensitivity
- Allergic reactions
Other side effects include:
- Ulcer formation
- Bacterial infection
What is the dosage for fluorouracil-topical-carac-efudex-fluoroplex?
- The cream or solution is applied once or twice daily after washing the area that is to be treated with plain water.
- The course of treatment continues for at least 2-6 weeks depending on the condition being treated.
- A tiny amount of the cream should be gently rubbed into all of the treated areas with a fingertip. It is important to apply it to all of the skin and not just visible lesions. Afterwards, the finger should be rinsed thoroughly with water. (Alternatively, a glove can be used.)
- After a few days, the lesion becomes red and may even blister and weep. There may be some soreness.
- Tretinoin cream (Retin-A and others) enhances the effect of 5-fluorouracil by peeling off the top layer of skin. When fluorouracil is prescribed with tretinoin cream, the combination works best if the tretinoin has been used for at least two weeks prior to starting fluorouracil.
Which drugs or supplements interact with fluorouracil-topical-carac-efudex-fluoroplex?
There are no known drug interactions with topical fluorouracil.
Is fluorouracil-topical-carac-efudex-fluoroplex safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
- Although very little fluorouracil is absorbed from normal skin, about 20% can be absorbed into the blood when fluorouracil is applied to damaged skin. Fluorouracil can cause damage to the fetus, and it should not be used by pregnant women.
- It is not known whether fluorouracil passes into breast milk. Since some amount is absorbed from the skin into the body nursing mothers should not use fluorouracil.
What else should I know about fluorouracil-topical-carac-efudex-fluoroplex?
What preparations of fluorouracil-topical-carac-efudex-fluoroplex are available?
Cream 0.5, 1 and 5%. Solution 2 and 5%.
How should I keep fluorouracil-topical-carac-efudex-fluoroplex stored?
Cream and solution should be stored at room temperature, between 15 C and 30 C (59 F and 86 F).
Quick GuidePsoriasis Types, Images, Treatments
Topical fluorouracil (Carac, Efudex, Fluoroplex, Tolak) is a medication prescribed for the treatment of conditions of the skin such as skin cancer, psoriasis, and keratosis. Side effects, drug interactions, pregnancy safety, warnings, and pregnancy and breastfeeding safety information should be reviewed prior to taking this drug.
Multimedia: Slideshows, Images & Quizzes
Summer Skin Risks: Sunburn, Bug Bites & Poison Ivy
When it comes to summer, there plenty of hazards under the sun! Take the Summer Skin Hazards Quiz and clue in on the dangers to...
Skin Quiz: Acne, Dry Skin, Dandruff & More
What's that all over you? Skin, of course! Test your knowledge of your most amazing organ with the Skin Quiz!...
Melanoma (Skin Cancer) Quiz: Symptoms & Signs
What causes skin cancer? Take our Skin Cancer Quiz to learn about the risks, symptoms, causes, and treatments for this common...
Picture of Skin Cancer
Excessive exposure to sunlight is the main cause of skin cancer. See a picture of Skin Cancer and learn more about the health...
Sun-Damaged Skin: Pictures of Sun Spots, Wrinkles, Sunburns
See how sun damaged skin can cause wrinkles, moles, melanoma (skin cancer) and more. Explore sunburn relief and how actinic...
Summer Skin-Hazard Pictures: Stings, Bites, Burns, and More
Don't let spider bites, sunburn, poison ivy, chigger bites, and jellyfish stings sabotage your healthy skin. Learn how you can...
Related Disease Conditions
Genital Warts (HPV) Infection in Women
Genital warts is a sexually transmitted infection (STI, STD) caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). It is the most common STD...
Psoriasis is a long-term skin condition that may cause large plaques of red, raised skin, flakes of dry skin, and skin scales....
Molluscum contagiosum is a skin disease that causes pink painless bumps on the skin. It typically resolves in six to 12 months....
Skin cancers occur when skin cells undergo malignant transformations and grow into tumors. The most common types of skin cancer,...
A keloid is a scar that doesn't know when to stop. When the cells keep on reproducing, the result is an overgrown (hypertrophic)...
Actinic keratoses are rough, scaly patches of skin that are considered precancerous and are due to sun exposure. Prevention is to...
Treatment & Diagnosis
- Summer Skin Hazards Pictures FAQs
- Skin FAQs
- Skin Cancer Melanoma FAQs
- Medication Disposal
- Dangers of Mixing Medications
- Understanding Actinic Keratosis
- How To Reduce Your Medication Costs
- Pharmacy Visit, How To Get The Most Out of Your Visit
- Indications for Drugs: Approved vs. Non-approved
- Drugs: Buying Prescription Drugs Online Safely
- Drugs: The Most Common Medication Errors
- Generic Drugs, Are They as Good as Brand-Names?
Medications & Supplements
Prevention & Wellness
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
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.