Efudex Drug Information
Chemical Name FLUOROURACIL (flure-oh-YOOR-a-sill)
EFUDEX cream is used to treat certain skin problems, including cancer or conditions that could become cancerous if not treated. EFUDEX cream is used to treat scaly overgrowths of skin (actinic or solar keratoses). EFUDEX cream may also be used in the treatment of superficial basal cell carcinoma. It works by interfering with the growth of skin cells. Fluorouracil works by causing the death of cells which are growing fastest, such as abnormal skin cells.
Take EFUDEX exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow patient instructions for safe and effective use. To apply, clean the area, rinse well and dry the area with a towel and wait ten minutes before applying the medication. Wash your hands before and immediately after applying this medication, unless it is being used to treat a hand condition.
Apply EFUDEX to the affected area with the finger tips or a non-metal applicator, smoothing it gently onto the affected skin. Use enough to cover the entire area with a thin film.
EFUDEX cream should not be applied on the eyelids or in the eyes, nose, or mouth. Use caution when applying fluorouracil topical around the eyes, nose, or mouth. Do not use fluorouracil topical on skin that is irritated, peeling, or infected or on open wounds. Wait until these conditions have fully healed before using fluorouracil topical.
Do not cover the area after applying fluorouracil topical. This could cause too much medicine to be absorbed by the body and could be harmful. If a covering is needed, ask your doctor if a porous gauze dressing may be used.
To make sure you can safely take EFUDEX, patients should discuss their medical history with their doctor. Before using EFUDEX cream, tell your doctor if you:
- have ever had an allergic reaction to another form of fluorouracil topical (Carac, Efudex, Fluoroplex) or injectable fluorouracil (Adrucil, 5-FU)
- have dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase (DPD) enzyme deficiency
Do not use fluorouracil topical on skin that is irritated, peeling, or infected or on open wounds.
Most medications can cause side effects which can be defined as an unwanted response to a medication when it is taken in normal doses. Side effects can range from mild or severe, temporary or permanent. Side effects are not experienced all patients who take this medication. Many side effects can be managed, and others may go away over time.
EFUDEX may cause skin irritation, dryness, scaling or peeling (exfoliation), rash, and other local reactions. Eye irritation has also been reported. If these side effects are excessive or worsen with continued treatment, contact your doctor.
Serious side effects are not likely to occur. Stop using EFUDEX 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).
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about additional side effects.
Product Code: 1500
What is a Generic Drug?
A generic drug is a copy of the brand-name drug with the same dosage, safety, strength, quality, consumption method, performance, and intended use. Before generics become available on the market, the generic company must prove it has the same active ingredients as the brand-name drug and works in the same way and in the same amount of time in the body.
The only differences between generics and their brand-name counterparts is that generics are less expensive and may look slightly different (eg. different shape or color), as trademarks laws prevent a generic from looking exactly like the brand-name drug.
Generics are less expensive because generic manufacturers don't have to invest large sums of money to develop a drug. When the brand-name patent expires, generic companies can manufacture a copy of the brand-name and sell it at a substantial discount.