Other Names for this Medication (Brand Names)
5 Fluorouracil, Adrucil, Arumel, Carac, Carzonal, Effluderm, Efudex, Efudix, Efurix, FU, Fluoroblastin, Fluoroplex, Fluracil, Fluracilum, Fluri, Fluril, Fluro Uracil, Ftoruracil, Kecimeton, Phthoruracil, Phtoruracil, Queroplex, Timazin, URF, Ulup
Injection: Colourless or faint yellow solution for injection into the bloodstream.
Why this Medication is Used
Fluorouracil is used to treat cancers of the breast, gastrointestinal tract, and many other types of cancer.
How do you take this Medication
Your chemotherapy nurse will inject the drug into your vein. You may also be given other medications by injection or tablets to go along with this medication.
- Fluorouracil should not be used if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. It is important to discuss birth control with your doctor (Note: birth control pills alone are not recommended as the only birth control method).
- It is important to tell your doctor if you are taking blood thinning medicines (eg. Warfarin), or have chicken pox (or have recently been exposed to someone who has had chickenpox), shingles, infection of any kind, kidney or liver disease. Any of these conditions could affect therapy with this medication.
- Due to increased risk of infection check with your doctor before having any vaccinations, dental work or surgery.
- AVOID contact sports and situations where you may become injured or bruised.
- Fluorouracil may make you more sensitive to sunlight. Wear a hat and cover exposed skin while you are receiving this medication. Use a sunscreen.
- DO NOT take ASA during treatment; Use Acetaminophen products instead.
Common Products Containing ASA: Aspirin, Bufferin, Anacin, Entrophen, Novasen, Aspergum, some Alka-Seltzer products, and some cold preparations. Common Products Containing Acetaminophen: Tylenol, Atasol, Excedrin, Abenol Suppositories, and some cold preparations. (Check with your doctor or pharmacist if a product contains ASA or Acetaminophen)
For more information on this medication, please call your doctor or nurse.
|SIDE EFFECTS||PREVENTION||WHAT YOU SHOULD DO|
|• Diarrhea, heartburn||• Limit hot, spicy, and fried foods; limit foods and drinks with caffeine.||• Drink plenty of fluids. Phone your doctor if diarrhea lasts longer than 24 to 48 hours or you feel weak.|
|• Sores in the mouth or the lips||• Maintain good mouth hygiene. Brush teeth often with a soft toothbrush. Avoid hot,spicy and acidic foods.||• Check with your doctor or nurse as soon as you notice sores on mouth or lips.|
|• Nausea and vomiting||• Take prescribed medicine for nausea and vomiting. Continue drinking clear fluids. Get fresh air and rest.||• If you vomit within 1 hour of taking medication you may take another dose. A suppository may be ordered if you can’t keep pills down. Phone your doctor if vomiting lasts more than 24 hours or nausea longer than 48 hours.|
|• Loss of Appetite||• Have several small meals a day. Eat slowly. Light exercise and fresh air may help. Drink plenty of fluids.||• A high calorie meal plan is a good idea when you are not eating much. Consult your dietitian for more information.|
|• Skin rash, itching||• Check with your doctor or nurse if a problem|
|• Signs of infection/ fever, chills, cough, sore throat||• Limit contact with people who are sick or have colds. Rest often. Wash your hands often.||• Keep a thermometer at home. Recognize signs of infection. Phone your doctor right away if your temperature is over 38° C or 100° F. You may need antibiotics.|
|• Low white blood cells|
|• Bruising or bleeding.||• Use sharp objects with care. Use a soft toothbrush. Be careful when shaving. Tell your doctor before dental work is done.||• If bleeding or bruising is unusual or will not stop, phone your doctor immediately or come to the Emergency Department.|
|• Black, tar-like stools.|
|• Red spots on skin.|
|• Dry or cracked skin||• Check with your doctor or nurse if this bothers you|
|• Trouble with balance and walking||• Use a good skin lotion for dry skin|
|• Dark streaking in veins where the drug is injected|
|• Chest pain, shortness of breath||• Check with your doctor IMMEDIATELY|
|• Tingling of hands, feet followed by pain and/or swelling|