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Brand Name(s): 5-FU, Adrucil
Generic Name Fluorouracil
What is fluorouracil, 5-FU, injection?
FLUOROURACIL, 5-FU (Adrucil®) is a chemotherapy agent used for treating many types of cancer including colon and rectal cancer, breast cancer, stomach cancer, and cancer of the head and neck. Fluorouracil interferes with the growth of cancer cells. Generic fluorouracil injections are available.
What should my health care professional know before I receive fluorouracil?
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
How should I use this medicine?
Fluorouracil is for injection or infusion into a vein. It is usually administered in a hospital or clinic setting by a health-care professional.
What if I miss a dose?
It is important not to miss your dose. Notify your prescriber or health care professional if you are unable to keep an appointment.
What drug(s) may interact with fluorouracil?
Talk to your prescriber or health care professional before taking any of these medicines:
Tell your prescriber or health care professional about all other medicines you are taking, including nonprescription medicines, nutritional supplements, or herbal products. Also tell your prescriber or health care professional if you are a frequent user of drinks with caffeine or alcohol, if you smoke, or if you use illegal drugs. These may affect the way your medicine works. Check with your health care professional before stopping or starting any of your medicines.
What side effects may I notice from receiving fluorouracil?
Fluorouracil may cause different side effects depending upon the dose, how it is given, other chemotherapy agents, or if radition therapy is given. Not all of these effects occur in all patients. Discuss the possible side effects of your therapy with your prescriber or health care professional.
Side effects that you should report to your prescriber or health care professional as soon as possible:
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your prescriber or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):
What should I watch for while taking fluorouracil?
Visit your prescriber or health care professional for checks on your progress. You will need to have regular blood checks. The side effects of fluorouracil can continue after you finish your treatment; report side effects promptly.
Fluorouracil may make you feel generally unwell. This is not uncommon because fluorouracil affects good cells as well as cancer cells. Report any side effects as above, but continue your course of medicine even though you feel ill, unless your prescriber or health care professional tells you to stop.
Fluorouracil may decrease your body's ability to fight infections. Call your prescriber or health care professional if you have a fever, chills, sore throat or other symptoms of a cold or flu. Do not treat these symptoms yourself. Try to avoid being around people who are sick. Fluorouracil may increase your risk to bruise or bleed. Call your prescriber or health care professional if you notice any unusual bleeding. Be careful not to cut, bruise or injure yourself because you may get an infection and bleed more than usual.
Avoid taking aspirin, acetaminophen (Tylenol®), ibuprofen (Advil®), ketoprofen (Orudis KT®), or naproxen (Aleve®) products as these may mask a fever, unless instructed to by your prescriber or health care professional.
Be careful brushing and flossing your teeth or using a toothpick while receiving fluorouracil because you may get an infection or bleed more easily. If you have any dental work done, tell your dentist you received fluorouracil.
If you are going to have surgery, tell your prescriber or health care professional that you are receiving fluorouracil.
Try to keep out of the sun, or wear protective clothing and use a sunscreen when you are outdoors. Do not use sun lamps or sun tanning beds or booths. Fluorouracil makes your skin more sensitive to the sun and you may get a sunburn more easily. Your eye may become more senstive to the sun, too.
Where can I keep my medicine?
You will receive fluorouracil therapy in a hospital or clinic setting. You will not have to keep this medication at home.
(Note: The above information is not intended to replace the advice of your physician, pharmacist, or other healthcare professional. It is not meant to indicate that the use of the product is safe, appropriate, or effective for you.)