|Please read this information sheet.
If you have any questions, particularly about the treatment or potential
side-effects, please ask your doctor.
What is it?
Efudix [5-Fluorouracil, 5-FU] cream is very effective at
treating early and superficial changes in the skin caused by the
It is commonly used to treat Actinic Keratosis, Solar
Keratoses, Bowen’s Disease and occasionally superficial
Basal Cell Carcinomas. It is specifically used for treating
these abnormalities of the skin and should not be applied
generally or to any other conditions without your dermatologist’
5-FU is a type of topical chemotherapy.
5-FU reacts against the sun-damaged skin but does not
usually affect normal skin.
It is a cream / liquid which is applied to the skin.
It is important to have multiple treatments with 5-FU.
Treatment is usually continued until the skin no longer reacts to
the 5-FU by reddening.
How To Use It
The cream was originally recommended to be applied twice
daily for 3 weeks and in this time, it caused considerable
soreness and swelling of the skin.
It has found that a more satisfactory way of using it is to apply
the cream much less frequently but over a longer period of
time - applying the cream sparingly every other night to the
affected area and to continue applying this for a period of 6 to
If within 2 or 3 weeks you notice no change at all to the
affected area, then you should apply the cream every night.
Avoid getting 5-FU in your eyes, nose or mouth.
5-FU may damage sperm in men. Women should not use 5-
FU if pregnant, and should avoid breastfeeding while using it
These include reddening, blistering, or peeling of the skin from
1 - 2 weeks after use.
There may be a little redness or soreness at the area where
you apply the cream, and this is normal.
If, however, you develop an itchy rash or a large area of sore
skin, then you should discontinue using the cream until you
have discussed this with your clinician.
New Zealand Dermatological Society
Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals NHS Trust
|5-Fluorouracil, 5-FU, Efudix
|Last Updated 12th January 2011