Fluorouracil

Fluorouracil

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By Medicover Hospitals / 1 Feb 2021
Home | Medicine | Fluorouracil
  • Fluorouracil is an antimetabolite antineoplastic (anti-cancer) that is involved in the palliative treatment of colon, breast, ovary, liver, pancreatic, rectal, and stomach cancer. It interferes with DNA synthesis by blocking the conversion of deoxyuridylic acid to thymidylic acid by thymidylate synthetase. Fluorouracil is available under the following brand name: Adrucil.
    1. Fluorouracil Uses
    2. Fluorouracil Side effects
    3. Precautions
    4. Dosage
    5. Fluorouracil Storage
    6. Fluorouracil vs Imiquimod
    7. Frequently Asked Questions

    Fluorouracil Uses:

  • Fluorouracil cream and topical solution are used for treating actinic or solar keratoses. The cream and solution are used for treating a type of skin cancer called superficial basal cell carcinoma. This belongs to the class of medications called antimetabolites. This works by killing fast-growing cells such as the abnormal cells in actinic keratoses and basal cell carcinoma.
  • Fluorouracil Side Effects:

  • Some of the common side effects of Fluorouracil are:
    • Burning
    • Crusting
    • Redness
    • Discoloration
    • Irritation
    • Pain
    • Itching
    • Rash
    • Soreness
  • Some of the serious side effects of Fluorouracil are:
    • Severe stomach ache
    • Blood in diarrhea
    • Vomiting
    • Fever
    • Chills
    • Severe red skin rash
  • Talk with your doctor if you are having any if these side effects. Getting serious allergic reactions are very rare. However, seek medical attention if you are noticing any of the above symptoms.
  • Precautions:

  • Before using Fluorouracil talk with your doctor if you are having an allergic reaction to it or any other medications. The product may contain some inactive ingredients which can cause some serious allergic reactions or some other serious problems. The medication should not be used if you are having any of the medical conditions.
  • Before taking Fluorouracil talk with your doctor if you are having any medical history such as:
    • Enzyme deficiency
    • Red or irritated skin
    • Open sores on the skin

    How to take Fluorouracil?

  • Fluorouracil comes in the form of solution and cream which should be applied on the skin. This is usually applied to the affected areas twice a day. If you are treating actinic or solar keratosis with fluorouracil, you can continue to use it until the lesions begin to peel off. Usually, this takes 2 to 4 weeks or so. However, up to 1 or 2 months after you stop using fluorouracil, the lesions cannot be fully cured.
  • If you are treating actinic or solar keratosis with fluorouracil, you can continue to use it until the lesions start to peel off. Usually, this takes about 2 to 4 weeks. However, just 1 or 2 months after you stop using fluorouracil, the lesions cannot be fully cured.
  • Missed Dose:

  • If a dose is missing, use it as soon as possible. If the time for the next dose is close, skip the skipped dose. At a normal time, use the next dose. To catch up, do not double the dose.
  • Overdose:

  • Overdose of a drug can be accidental. If you have taken more than the prescribed Fluorouracil tablets there is a chance of getting a harmful effect on your body’s functions. Overdose of a medicine can lead to some medical emergency.
  • How do Fluorouracil works?

  • Cell division, which is no longer regulated as it is in normal tissue, characterizes cancerous tumours. "Normal" cells, a process referred to as contact inhibition, avoid dividing when they come into contact with like cells. This capacity is lost by cancerous cells. Cancer cells no longer have in place the usual checks and balances that regulate and restrict the division of cells. Via the cell cycle, the process of cell division, whether normal or cancerous, happens. The cell cycle goes from the phase of rest, through active phases of development, and then to mitosis (division). Chemotherapy's ability to destroy cancer cells relies on its ability to stop the division of cells. Typically, by destroying the RNA or DNA that informs the cell how to copy itself in the division, the drugs work.
  • Fluorouracil belongs to a chemical therapy group called antimetabolites. Antimetabolites are somewhat similar inside the cell to natural compounds. They are unable to divide as the cells integrate these compounds into cellular metabolism. Antimetabolites are unique to the cell-cycle. At very particular stages in the cycle, they attack cells.
  • Storage:

  • Direct contact with heat, air and light may damage your medicines. Exposure to medicine may cause some harmful effects. The medicine must be kept in a safe place and out of children’s reach.
  • Mainly the drug should be kept at room temperature between 68ºF and 77ºF (20ºC and 25ºC).
  • Fluorouracil vs Imiquimod:

    Fluorouracil
    Imiquimod
    Fluorouracil is an antimetabolite antineoplastic (anti-cancer) that is involved in the palliative treatment of colon, breast, ovary, liver, pancreatic, rectal, and stomach cancer. Imiquimod belongs to a category of drugs called modifiers of immune responses. It is believed to function to combat these irregular skin growths by helping to activate the immune system.
    Fluorouracil cream and topical solution are used for treating actinic or solar keratoses. The cream and solution is used for treating a type of skin cancer called superficial basal cell carcinoma. Imiquimod is used to treat precancerous growths in the skin caused by actinic keratosis (AK). Too much exposure to the sun triggers AK.
    Some of the common side effects of Fluorouracil are:
    • -Burning
    • -Crusting
    • -Redness
    • -Discoloration
    • -Irritation
    Some of the common side effects of Imiquimod are:
    • -Redness
    • -Itching
    • -Burning
    • -Flaking
    • -Scaling
    • -Swelling

    Frequently Asked Questions:

    This normally takes at least 3 to 6 weeks but can take up to 10 to 12 weeks to complete. The skin lesions and surrounding areas will feel irritated during the first few weeks of therapy and appear red, swollen, and scaly. This is an indication that it operates with fluorouracil.
    Some of the common side effects of Fluorouracil are:
    • Burning
    • Crusting
    • Redness
    • Discoloration
    • Irritation
    This is a sun-induced pre-cancerous growth of the skin. Fluorouracil responds to pre-cancerous skin damaged by the light but typically does not affect normal skin. It is a skin cream applied to the skin.
    The damaged skin becomes sore and inflamed with a beefy-red appearance with erosion and crusting after continued application. The prescription should be stopped at this stage.
    After washing the face with clean water, fluorouracil cream is applied once or twice a day. A small amount of the cream should be gently rubbed with a fingertip into all of the treatment areas. Applying it to all the skin and not just visible lesions is necessary.

    Citations:

  • Fluorouracil, https://ascopubs.org/doi/abs/10.1200/JCO.1988.6.10.1653
  • Uses of Fluorouracil,http://www.hayaobio.net/admin/images/file/20141110144845.pdf