"Scientists at the National Institutes of Health report they have discovered in mouse studies that a small molecule released in the spinal cord triggers a process that is later experienced in the brain as the sensation of itch.
Efudex (fluorouracil) is recommended for the topical treatment of multiple actinic or solar keratoses. In the 5% strength it is also useful in the treatment of superficial basal cell carcinomas when conventional methods are impractical, such as with multiple lesions or difficult treatment sites. Safety and efficacy in other indications have not been established.
The diagnosis should be established prior to treatment, since this method has not been proven effective in other types of basal cell carcinomas. With isolated, easily accessible basal cell carcinomas, surgery is preferred since success with such lesions is almost 100%. The success rate with Efudex (fluorouracil) Cream and Solution is approximately 93%, based on 113 lesions in 54 patients. Twenty-five lesions treated with the solution produced 1 failure and 88 lesions treated with the cream produced 7 failures.
DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION
Efudex (fluorouracil) should be applied preferably with a nonmetal applicator or suitable glove. If Efudex (fluorouracil) is applied with the fingers, the hands should be washed immediately afterward.
Actinic or Solar Keratosis: Apply cream or solution twice daily in an amount sufficient to cover the lesions. Medication should be continued until the inflammatory response reaches the erosion stage, at which time use of the drug should be terminated. The usual duration of therapy is from 2 to 4 weeks. Complete healing of the lesions may not be evident for 1 to 2 months following cessation of Efudex (fluorouracil) therapy.
Superficial Basal Cell Carcinomas: Only the 5% strength is recommended. Apply cream or solution twice daily in an amount sufficient to cover the lesions. Treatment should be continued for at least 3 to 6 weeks. Therapy may be required for as long as 10 to 12 weeks before the lesions are obliterated. As in any neoplastic condition, the patient should be followed for a reasonable period of time to determine if a cure has been obtained.
Efudex (fluorouracil) Solution is available in 10-mLdrop dispensers containing either 2% (NDC 0187-3202-10) or 5% (NDC 0187-3203-10) fluorouracil and 25-mLdrop dispensers containing either 2% (NDC 0187-3202-02) or 5% (NDC 0187-3203-02) fluorouracil on a weight/weight basis compounded with propylene glycol, tris (hydroxymethyl) aminomethane, hydroxypropyl cellulose, parabens (methyl and propyl) and disodium edetate.
Efudex Cream is available in 40-gm tubes containing 5% fluorouracil (NDC 0187-3204-47) in a vanishing cream base consisting of white petrolatum, stearyl alcohol, propylene glycol, polysorbate 60 and parabens (methyl and propyl).
Store at 25°C (77°F); excursions permitted to 15°C - 30°C (59°F - 86°F).
Valeant Pharmaceuticals North America, Costa Mesa, CA 92626. U.S.A. Rev. September 2005. FDA Rev date: 5/10/2006
Last reviewed on RxList: 5/13/2008
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
Additional Efudex Information
Efudex - User Reviews
Efudex User Reviews
Now you can gain knowledge and insight about a drug treatment with Patient Discussions.
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.
Find out what women really need.