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What is Fluorouracil?

Fluorouracil belongs to the group of cancer-fighting medications known as antineoplastics, and specifically to the group of antineoplastics known as antimetabolites. Fluorouracil interferes with genetic material (DNA and RNA), which is necessary for the growth and reproduction of cancer cells.

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Fluorouracil How to Take

Fluorouracil belongs to the group of cancer-fighting medications known as antineoplastics, and specifically to the group of antineoplastics known as antimetabolites.

Fluorouracil interferes with genetic material (DNA and RNA), which is necessary for the growth and reproduction of cancer cells. Fluorouracil is used alone or along with other antineoplastic medications to treat many types of cancer including cancer of the bladder, colon, rectum, breast, ovary, head and neck, stomach, and pancreas.

Fluorouracil may be available under multiple brand names and/or in several different forms. Any specific brand name of Fluorouracil may not be available in all of the forms or approved for all of the conditions discussed here. As well, some forms of Fluorouracil may not be used for all of the conditions discussed here.

Your doctor may have suggested Fluorouracil for conditions other than those listed in these drug information articles. If you have not discussed this with your doctor or are not sure why you are using Fluorouracil, speak to your doctor. Do not stop using Fluorouracil without consulting your doctor.

Do not give Fluorouracil to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you do. It can be harmful for people to use Fluorouracil if their doctor has not prescribed it.

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Fluorouracil Dosage

The recommended dose of fluorouracil varies widely according to the specific condition being treated, the response to therapy, and the other medications being used. The dose of fluorouracil is based on body size.

Many things can affect the dose of a medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. Your doctor may decide on a dosage schedule different from that described here.

Fluorouracil is available as an intravenous (into the vein) injection. It is usually injected through a specially prepared site on the skin. Very careful handling of Fluorouracil is required. Fluorouracil should only be given by health care professionals familiar with the use of anticancer medications. It is always given in a hospital or similar setting with access to sterile equipment for preparation.

It is important that Fluorouracil be given exactly as recommended by your doctor. If you miss an appointment to receive fluorouracil, contact your doctor as soon as possible to reschedule your appointment.

As well as interfering with the genetic material DNA and RNA of cancer cells, fluorouracil can interfere with some of your normal cells. This can cause a number of side effects. Keep track of any side effects and report them to your doctor.

Fluorouracil is stored at room temperature and protected from light.

Do not dispose of medications in wastewater (e.g. down the sink or in the toilet) or in household garbage. Ask your pharmacist how to dispose of medications that are no longer needed or have expired.

Fluorouracil Side Effects

Many medications can cause side effects. A side effect is an unwanted response to a medication when it is used in normal doses. Side effects can be mild or severe, temporary or permanent.

The side effects listed below are not experienced by everyone who uses Fluorouracil. If you are concerned about side effects, discuss the risks and benefits of Fluorouracil with your doctor.

The following side effects have been reported by at least 1% of people using Fluorouracil. Many of these side effects can be managed, and some may go away on their own over time.

Contact your doctor if you experience these side effects and they are severe or bothersome. Your pharmacist may be able to advise you on managing side effects.

  • dry or cracked skin
  • headache
  • increased sensitivity of the skin to sunlight
  • increased skin pigmentation
  • loss of appetite
  • nausea
  • redness or irritation of eyes
  • skin rash and itching
  • temporary hair thinning or loss (returns after treatments end)
  • vomiting
  • watering or tearing of eyes

Although most of the side effects listed below don't happen very often, they could lead to serious problems if you do not seek medical attention.

Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:

  • changes to fingernails or toenails
  • changes to vision
  • confusion or disorientation
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • heartburn
  • severe nausea or vomiting
  • signs of Anemia (low red blood cells; e.g., pale skin, unusual tiredness or weakness)
  • signs of bleeding (e.g., unusual bruising or bleeding, pinpoint red spots on skin, black tarry stools, bloody nose, blood in urine, coughing blood, cuts that don't stop bleeding)
  • signs of dehydration (e.g., decreased urine, dry skin, dry and sticky mouth, sleepiness, dizziness, headache, thirst, confusion)
  • signs of liver problems (e.g., nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, weight loss, yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes, dark urine, pale stools)
  • sores in mouth and on lips
  • trouble with balance

Stop using the medication and seek immediate medical attention if any of the following occur:

  • pain or swelling at the site of injection
  • signs of a serious allergic reaction (e.g., difficulty breathing, wheezing, or swelling of the face and throat)
  • signs of heart problems (chest pain, abnormal heart rhythm, shortness of breath)
  • signs of infection (fever or chills, sore throat, severe diarrhea, shortness of breath, prolonged dizziness, headache, stiff neck, weight loss, painful or difficult urination, or listlessness)

Some people may experience side effects other than those listed. Check with your doctor if you notice any symptom that worries you while you are taking Fluorouracil.

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We sort your medication into clearly labeled, individual packs so you can be sure you're taking the right dose at the right time.

Fluorouracil Available Form

Each mL of sterile solution contains 50 mg of fluorouracil. Nonmedicinal ingredients: water for injection and sodium hydroxide.


All material © 1996-2021 MediResource Inc. Terms and conditions of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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