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Fluorouracil Topical



Fluorouracil topical is used to treat scaly, crusty skin growth on sun-damaged skin (actinic or solar keratosis) and skin cancers (basal cell carcinoma).

How it works

Fluorouracil belongs to a class of medications called as anti-metabolites. It blocks the cell division as well as cell growth thus resulting in death of abnormal cells including cancerous cells.

Common side effects

Burning sensation, Crusting in eyelids, Skin irritation, Dry skin, Skin rash, Skin redness, Soreness


Expert advice

  • Use gloves or non-metallic applicators for application to the affected areas.
  • Avoid direct contact of cream or solution with eyes, eyelids, nostrils, mouth, and on open cuts and wash your hands carefully before and after use.
  • Seek immediate medical attention in case of severe allergic reactions. 
  • Avoid prolonged exposure to sunlight or other forms of ultraviolet irradiation during topical fluorouracil treatment.
  • It should not take if patient is allergic to fluorouracil or any of its ingredients.
  • Patients with dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase (DPD) enzyme deficiency.
  • It should not given to pregnant or breastfeeding women.

Frequently asked questions

Fluorouracil Topical

 Q. Is fluorouracil a vesicant?
No, fluorouracil is not a vesicant (irritant).
Q. Is fluorouracil a steroid?
No, fluorouracil is not a steroid.
Q. Is fluorouracil cream chemotherapy?
Fluorouracil is used as chemotherapy for the treatment of certain precancerous (actinic/solar keratosis) and cancerous (basal cell carcinoma) conditions of the skin.
Q. Is fluorouracil cream for warts?
Yes, fluorouracil is used for the treatment of warts. 
Q. Is fluorouracil the same as efudex?
Efudex is a brand name (trade name) for fluorouracil.
Q. Does fluorouracil affect normal skin?
Fluorouracil has minimal effect on the surrounding healthy skin.
Q. Does fluorouracil cause scarring?
No, fluorouracil is not known to cause scarring.

Content on this page was last updated on 30 September, 2016, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)