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Fluorouracil Cream

Last reviewed on RxList: 5/24/2017
Fluorouracil Cream Side Effects Center

Last reviewed on RxList 02/28/2017

Fluorouracil Cream, 0.5% (Microsphere) is an antineoplastic (anticancer) antimetabolite indicated for the topical treatment of multiple actinic or solar keratoses of the face and anterior scalp. Fluorouracil cream is available in generic form. Common side effects of fluorouracil cream include:

The treated area may become unsightly during therapy.

Fluorouracil cream (microsphere) should be applied once a day to the skin where actinic keratosis lesions appear, using enough to cover the entire area with a thin film. Fluorouracil cream may interact with other drugs. Tell your doctor all medications and supplements you use. Fluorouracil cream is not recommended for use during pregnancy; it may harm a fetus. It is unknown if fluorouracil cream passes into breast milk. Because of the potential for adverse effects on a nursing infant, breastfeeding is not recommended while using this drug.

Our Fluorouracil Cream, 0.5% (Microsphere) 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.

Fluorouracil Cream Professional Information

SIDE EFFECTS

The following were adverse events considered to be drug-related and occurring with a frequency of ≥ 1% with Fluorouracil Cream USP, 0.5% (Microsphere): application site reaction (94.6%), and eye irritation (5.4%). The signs and symptoms of facial irritation (application site reaction) are presented below.

Summary of Facial Irritation Signs and Symptoms - Pooled Phase 3 Studies

Clinical Sign or Symptom Active One Week
N=85
Active Two Week
N=87
Active Four Week
N=85
ALL Active Treatments
N=257
Vehicle Treatments
N=127
n (%) n (%) n (%) n (%) n (%)
Erythema 76 (89.4) 82 (94.3) 82 (96.5) 240 (93.4) 76 (59.8)
Dryness 59 (69.4) 76 (87.4) 79 (92.9) 214 (83.3) 60 (47.2)
Burning 51 (60.0) 70 (80.5) 71 (83.5) 192 (74.7) 28 (22.0)
Erosion 21 (24.7) 38 (43.7) 54 (63.5) 113 (44.0) 17 (13.4)
Pain 26 (30.6) 34 (39.1) 52 (61.2) 112 (43.6) 7 (5.5)
Edema 12 (14.1) 28 (32.2) 51 (60.0) 91 (35.4) 6 (4.7)

During clinical trials, irritation generally began on day 4 and persisted for the remainder of treatment. Severity of facial irritation at the last treatment visit was slightly below baseline for the vehicle group, mild to moderate for the 1 week active treatment group, and moderate for the 2 and 4 week active treatment groups. Mean severity declined rapidly for each active group after completion of treatment and was below baseline for each group at the week 2 post-treatment follow-up visit.

Thirty-one patients (12% of those treated with Fluorouracil Cream USP, 0.5% (Microsphere) in the Phase 3 clinical studies) discontinued study treatment early due to facial irritation. Except for three patients, discontinuation of treatment occurred on or after day 11 of treatment.

Eye irritation adverse events, described as mild to moderate in intensity, were characterized as burning, watering, sensitivity, stinging and itching. These adverse events occurred across all treatment arms in one of the two Phase 3 studies.

Summary of All Adverse Events Reported in ≥ 1% of Patients in the Combined Active Treatment and Vehicle Groups - Pooled Phase 3 Studies
9721 and 9722 Combined

Adverse Event Active One Week
N= 85 n(%)
Active Two Week
N= 87 n(%)
Active Four Week
N= 85 n(%)
ALL Active Treatments N=257
n(%)
Vehicle Treatments N=127
n(%)
BODY AS A WHOLE 7(8.2) 6(6.9) 12(14.1) 25(9.7) 15(11.8)
  Headache 3(3.5) 2(2.3) 3(3.5) 8(3.1) 3(2.4)
  Common Cold 4(4.7) 0 2(2.4) 6(2.3) 3(2.4)
  Allergy 0 2(2.3) 1(1.2) 3(1.2) 2(1.6)
  Infection Upper Respiratory 0 0 0 0 2(1.6)
MUSCULOSKELETAL 1(1.2) 1(1.1) 1(1.2) 3(1.2) 5(3.9)
  Muscle Soreness 0 0 0 0 2(1.6)
RESPIRATORY 5(5.9) 0 1(1.2) 6(2.3) 6(4.7)
  Sinusitis 4(4.7) 0 0 4(1.6) 2(1.6)
SKIN & APPENDAGES 78 (91.8) 83(95.4) 82(96.5) 243(94.6) 85(66.9)
  Application Site Reaction 78 (91.8) 83(95.4) 82(96.5) 243(94.6) 83(65.4)
  Irritation Skin 1(1.2) 0 2(2.4) 3(1.2) 0
SPECIAL SENSES 6(7.1) 4(4.6) 6(7.1) 16(6.2) 6(4.7)
  Eye Irritation 5(5.9) 3(3.4) 6(7.1) 14 (5.4) 3(2.4)

Adverse Experiences Reported By Body System

In the Phase 3 studies, no serious adverse event was considered related to study drug. A total of five patients, three in the active treatment groups and two in the vehicle group, experienced at least one serious adverse event. Three patients died as a result of adverse event(s) considered unrelated to study drug (stomach cancer, myocardial infarction and cardiac failure).

Post-treatment clinical laboratory tests other than pregnancy tests were not performed during the Phase 3 clinical studies. Clinical laboratory tests were performed during conduct of a Phase 2 study of 104 patients and 21 patients in a Phase 1 study. No abnormal serum chemistry, hematology, or urinalysis results in these studies were considered clinically significant.

Read the entire FDA prescribing information for Fluorouracil Cream (Fluorouracil Cream)

Related Resources for Fluorouracil Cream

© Fluorouracil Cream Patient Information is supplied by Cerner Multum, Inc. and Fluorouracil Cream Consumer information is supplied by First Databank, Inc., used under license and subject to their respective copyrights.

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