5-Fluorouracil, 5-FU, Efudix
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 sun.
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’ s advice.
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 8 weeks.
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 as well.
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.
Useful Articles & Websites
New Zealand Dermatological Society