Efudex vs. Carac

Are Efudex and Carac the Same Thing?

Efudex (fluorouracil) topical and Carac Cream, 0.5% (fluorouracil) contain an antineoplastic antimetabolite used to treat scaly overgrowths of skin (actinic or solar keratoses). Efudex and Carac may also be used in the treatment of superficial basal cell carcinoma.

Side effects of Efudex and Carac that are similar include skin irritation, burning, redness, dryness, pain, tenderness, swelling, scaling, peeling (exfoliation), rash, or other local skin reactions.

Side effects of Efudex that are different from Carac include 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.

Both Efudex and Carac may interact with other prescription or over-the-counter skin products used at the same time.

What Are Possible Side Effects of Efudex?

Common side effects of Efudex include:

  • skin irritation,
  • burning,
  • redness,
  • dryness,
  • pain,
  • swelling,
  • tenderness,
  • scaling,
  • peeling (exfoliation),
  • rash,
  • changes in skin color at the site of application, or other local reactions.
  • Other side effects of Efudex include eye irritation (e.g., stinging, watering),
  • trouble sleeping,
  • irritability,
  • temporary hair loss, or
  • abnormal taste in the mouth.

Tell your doctor if you have rare but very serious side effects of Efudex including:

What Are Possible Side Effects of Carac?

Common side effects of Carac include:

  • skin redness,
  • irritation,
  • dryness,
  • scaling or peeling (exfoliation),
  • burning,
  • rash,
  • pain,
  • swelling, and
  • other local reactions.

Serious side effects of Carac Cream are not likely to occur. Stop using of Carac Cream 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).

What Is Efudex?

Efudex (fluorouracil) topical contains an antineoplastic antimetabolite used to treat scaly overgrowths of skin (actinic or solar keratoses). Efudex may also be used in the treatment of superficial basal cell carcinoma. It works by causing the death of cells that are growing fastest, such as abnormal skin cells. Efudex is available in generic form.

What Is Carac?

Carac Cream, 0.5% (fluorouracil) works by causing the death of cells that grow fastest, such as abnormal skin cells, and is used to treat scaly overgrowths of skin (actinic or solar keratoses). Carac Cream may also be used in the treatment of superficial basal cell carcinoma. Carac Cream is available in generic form.

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What Drugs Interact With Efudex?

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, breastfeeding is not recommended while using this drug.

What Drugs Interact With Carac?

Carac Cream may interact with other prescription or over-the-counter skin products. Tell your doctor all medications and supplements you use. Carac Cream topical must not be used if you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy. It is known to harm a fetus. Miscarriage and birth defects have been reported. Discuss birth control with your doctor before starting treatment with Carac. It is unknown if this drug passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding.

How Should Efudex Be Taken?

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.

How Should Carac Be Taken?

Carac Cream should be applied in a once a day dose to the skin where actinic keratosis lesions appear, using enough to cover the entire area with a thin film. Use for up to 4 weeks, as tolerated.

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References
SOURCE:

FDA. Efudex Prescribing Information.

https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2005/016831s049lbl.pdf

FDA. Carac Prescribing Information.

https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2003/20985slr004_carac_lbl.pdf

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