Efudex vs. Solaraze

Are Efudex and Solaraze the Same Thing?

Efudex (fluorouracil) and Solaraze (diclofenac sodium) Gel are used to treat scaly overgrowths of skin (actinic or solar keratoses).

Efudex may also be used in the treatment of superficial basal cell carcinoma.

Efudex contains an antineoplastic antimetabolite and Solaraze Gel is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID).

Side effects of Efudex and Solaraze that are similar include application site skin reactions (rash, redness, scaling, dry skin, swelling, irritation, or itching).

Side effects of Efudex that are different from Solaraze include skin burning, pain, tenderness, peeling (exfoliation), 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.

Side effects of Solaraze that are different from Efudex include nausea, stomach pain, upset stomach, diarrhea, or gas.

Efudex may interact with other prescription or over-the-counter skin products.

Solaraze may interact with blood thinners, cyclosporine, lithium, methotrexate, diuretics (water pills), steroids, or ACE inhibitors.

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 Solaraze?

Common side effects of Solaraze include:

  • application site skin reactions (rash, redness, scaling, dry skin, swelling, irritation, or itching),
  • nausea,
  • stomach pain,
  • upset stomach,
  • diarrhea, or
  • gas.

Tell your doctor if you have serious side effects of Solaraze Gel including:

  • swelling of the ankles/feet/hands,
  • sudden or unexplained weight gain,
  • unusual tiredness, or
  • signs of kidney problems (such as changes in the amount of urine).

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 Solaraze?

Solaraze may interact with blood thinners, cyclosporine, lithium, methotrexate, diuretics (water pills), steroids, or ACE inhibitors. Tell your doctor all medications you are taking. During the first 6 months of pregnancy, Solaraze should be used only when prescribed. It is not recommended for use during the last 3 months of pregnancy due to possible harm to the fetus and problems with normal labor/delivery. Based on information from related drugs, this medication may pass into breast milk. Though there have been no reports of harm to nursing infants, consult your doctor before breastfeeding.

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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 Solaraze?

Solaraze may interact with other drugs. Tell your doctor all medications and supplements you use. It is not known if Solaraze gel is harmful to unborn babies. Solaraze gel should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus. It is unknown if Solaraze 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 Solaraze Be Used?

Solaraze Gel is applied to lesion areas twice daily. Smooth onto affected skin gently. The amount needed depends upon the size of the lesion site. Assure that enough Solaraze Gel is applied to adequately cover each lesion. Normally 0.5 g of gel is used on each 5 cm x 5 cm lesion site. The recommended duration of therapy is 60 to 90 days.

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References


Valeant. Efudex Product Information.

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

DailyMed. Solaraze Product Information.

https://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/drugInfo.cfm?setid=89a7bfbd-051f-4d87-a642-96b0df81b8e2

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