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Efudex Side Effects Center
Medical Editor: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP
Efudex (fluorouracil) topical is used to treat scaly overgrowths of skin (actinic or solar keratoses). It may also be used in the treatment of superficial basal cell carcinoma. It works by works by causing the death of cells that are growing fastest, such as abnormal skin cells. This medication is available in generic form. Common side effects include skin irritation, burning, redness, dryness, pain, swelling, tenderness, or changes in skin color at the site of application. Eye irritation (e.g., stinging, watering), trouble sleeping, irritability, temporary hair loss, or abnormal taste in the mouth may also occur.
The dose of Efudex topical is to apply a small amount of the cream to the area that is to be treated, once or twice daily after cleansing. Treatment lasts 2-6 weeks depending on the condition being treated. Wash hands immediately afterward. Do not use other prescription or over-the-counter skin products without first talking to your doctor during treatment with Efudex topical. They may interfere with treatment or increase irritation to the skin. Other drugs may also interact with Efudex topical. Talk to your doctor before taking any prescription or over-the-counter medicines. Efudex topical must not be used during pregnancy. It may harm a fetus. It is not known if this medication passes into breast milk. Due to the potential risk to a nursing infant, breast-feeding is not recommended while using this drug.
Our Efudex (fluorouracil) Side Effects Drug Center provides a comprehensive view of available drug information on the potential side effects when taking this medication.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
What is Patient Information in Detail?
Easy-to-read and understand detailed drug information and pill images for the patient or caregiver from Cerner Multum.
Efudex in Detail - Patient Information: Side Effects
Serious side effects are not likely to occur. Stop using fluorouracil topical and seek emergency medical attention if you experience an allergic reaction (shortness of breath; closing of your throat; swelling of your lips, face, or tongue; or hives).
Fluorouracil topical may cause skin irritation, dryness, scaling or peeling (exfoliation), rash, and other local reactions. Eye irritation has also been reported. If these side effects are excessive or worsen with continued treatment, contact your doctor.
Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Read the entire detailed patient monograph for Efudex (Fluorouracil) »
What is Patient Information Overview?
A concise overview of the drug for the patient or caregiver from First DataBank.
Efudex Overview - Patient Information: Side Effects
If any of these effects persist or worsen, contact your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Tell your doctor immediately if any of these rare but very serious side effects occur: stomach/abdominal pain, bloody diarrhea, vomiting, signs of infection (e.g., fever, chills, persistent sore throat), easy bruising/bleeding, mouth sores.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any of the following symptoms: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Read the entire patient information overview for Efudex (Fluorouracil)»
What is Prescribing information?
The FDA package insert formatted in easy-to-find categories for health professionals and clinicians.
Efudex FDA Prescribing Information: Side Effects
The most frequent adverse reactions to Efudex (fluorouracil) occur locally and are often related to an extension of the pharmacological activity of the drug. These include burning, crusting, allergic contact dermatitis, erosions, erythema, hyperpigmentation, irritation, pain, photosensitivity, pruritus, scarring, rash, soreness and ulceration. Ulcerations, other local reactions, cases of miscarriage and a birth defect (ventricular septal defect) have been reported when Efudex (fluorouracil) was applied to mucous membrane areas. Leukocytosis is the most frequent hematological side effect.
Although a causal relationship is remote, other adverse reactions which have been reported infrequently are:
Central Nervous System: Emotional upset, insomnia, irritability
Gastrointestinal: Medicinal taste, stomatitis.
Miscellaneous: Herpes simplex.
Read the entire FDA prescribing information for Efudex (Fluorouracil) »
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