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Fluorouracil is a custom drug prescribed by physicians for treatment of several skin conditions, the most common being solar keratoses and actinic (skin lesions that may develop over time due to sun exposure). Fluorouracil is also used in the treatment of superficial skin cancer. The drug is classed in the family of drugs known as antimetabolites and it works by killing destructive cells.


Fluorouracil is administered as a topical cream or solution for most patients and as such is applied to the skin typically twice per day unless otherwise instructed by your doctor. Clean and rinse the area that you intend to apply the fluorouracil. Gently dry for at least ten to fifteen minutes before administering fluorouracil then apply a thin layer to the area; make sure to use no more than necessary for sufficient coverage. Do not apply a bandage, dressing, or cover afterward unless instructed by a doctor. Never apply sunscreen or moisturizers, etc. onto the area until at least two hours after the fluorouracil application. Use extreme caution when applying and do not allow any fluorouracil to get into your nose, mouth, or eyes. Always wash hands very thoroughly after every application.


In some cases, patients may experience side effects and while some side effects are minor and may go away, always observe any side effects closely and contact your doctor if you are concerned, if the side effects are persisting, or if they are growing in intensity, causing pain, etc. Common side effects seen with the use of fluorouracil are as follows:


  • Redness
  • Darkening
  • Dryness
  • Scarring
  • Rash
  • Tenderness
  • Crusting
  • Peeling
  • Flaking
  • Irritation

Severe Side Effects:

Get medical treatment right away if you experience any side effects that feel severe or any side effects listed below:

  • Swelling of Skin
  • Extreme Pain
  • Stomach Pain
  • Open Sores Developing
  • Severe Burning or Itching
  • Shedding Skin
  • Skin Irritation
  • Bloody Diarrhea
  • Fever and/or Chills


There may be many contraindications; consult with your doctor and he or she will let you know if fluorouracil is safe for your use.

If you are a patient who has a dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase (DPD) enzyme deficiency, make sure your doctor knows this and he or she will advise you.

Fluorouracil is not safe for pregnancy. If you are pregnant do not use fluorouracil. If you become pregnant then stop using fluorouracil immediately and call your doctor right away.

Do not use fluorouracil if you are breastfeeding or planning to breastfeed.

  • "It is rare to find health professionals who are so willing to educate the patient on what they need to know."

    Clair C. | West Hollywood, CA