What is Fluorouracil used for?
Fluorouracil is an anticancer drug. It is often used in combination with other chemotherapeutic drugs to treat various types of cancers that include:
- Breast cancer
- Colon cancer
- Oesophageal cancer
- Gastric cancer
- Rectal cancer
- Pancreatic cancer
Fluorouracil may also be prescribed for other conditions as determined by the doctor.
How does Fluorouracil work?
Fluorouracil belongs to the class of chemotherapeutic drugs called anti-metabolites. The drug acts by blocking the synthesis of genetic material required for the replication of a cancer cell. Thus, Fluorouracil prevents the growth and division of cancer cells.
How to administer Fluorouracil?
The dosage and the drug form depend on the age, weight and medical condition of an individual.
Fluorouracil is usually administered as an intravenous injection by a healthcare professional in an inpatient or outpatient setting. If you miss a dose of Fluorouracil, please contact your doctor immediately.
The overdose symptoms of Fluorouracil may include:
- Neutropenia (decreased neutrophil count)
- Gastrointestinal disturbance
- Severe chest pain
What are the drugs that interact with Fluorouracil?
Drugs that interact with Fluorouracil are:
- Amphotericin B
- Folic acid
This is not a comprehensive list of drug interactions. Consult your doctor to know more about other possible drug interactions.
What are the side effects of Fluorouracil?
The following are the most common side effects of Fluorouracil:
- Black-coloured stools
- Loss of appetite
- Lower back pain
- Painful urination
- Shortness of breath
- Stomach cramps
The following are the severe side effects and you may require immediate medical attention:
- Chest pain
- Persistent diarrhoea
- Skin rash
- Mouth sores
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Please consult your doctor to know more about other possible side effects.
What special precautions should be followed while using Fluorouracil injection?
- Avoid using the medicine if you are allergic to Fluorouracil or similar drugs.
- Seek doctor’s advice before taking any other drug or herbal products while on Fluorouracil
- Avoid prolonged exposure to the sunlight or ultraviolet rays when you are on Fluorouracil medication.
What should you tell your doctor before using Fluorouracil injection?
- Tell your doctor if you are allergic to Fluorouracil.
- Inform the doctor if you are taking any other drugs, OTC medications, herbal products or nutritional supplements.
- Inform the doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Frequently Asked Questions about Fluorouracil
- How should Fluorouracil be stored?
- Is it safe to alter the dose of Fluorouracil?
- What are the other formulations of Fluorouracil available?
- Can I stop using the Fluorouracil medication abruptly?
- Can I have vaccination while on Fluorouracil therapy?
Store the Fluorouracil medication at room temperature (20 - 25OC).
No, altering the dose of Fluorouracil is not advised. You must notify the doctor before starting, stopping, or changing the dose of the medication.
Fluorouracil is available as lotion and injection. The type of formulation depends on your condition, for example, Fluorouracil cream or lotion is indicated for patients with skin cancer.
It is not advised to end a medication abruptly. Please contact your doctor if you experience any symptoms that force to discontinue the medication.
No, you should not receive any vaccination while on Fluorouracil therapy without consulting your doctor.
The contents of this website are for informational purposes only and not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please seek the advice of a physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.