Fluorouracil

Generic Name: Fluorouracil

  • What is Fluorouracil?

    Fluorouracil is a medicine used for the palliative management (to relieve the discomfort, symptoms, and stress) of cancer of your colon, rectum, breast, stomach, or pancreas. Fluorouracil is administered intravenously (through a vein in your arm).

  • What is the most important information I should know about Fluorouracil?

    Fluorouracil can cause low white blood cell counts, low platelet (type of blood cells that form clots to help stop bleeding) counts, or low red blood cell counts. Your doctor will monitor your blood cell counts before you start fluorouracil and regularly during your treatment. Tell your doctor if you experience bleeding or tiredness.

    Fluorouracil can cause severe side effects on your stomach or intestines, especially ulceration or bleeding. Fluorouracil can also cause inflammation of your esophagus, sores in your mouth or throat, vomiting, or diarrhea. Tell your doctor immediately if you experience any of these problems.

    Fluorouracil can cause hand-foot syndrome, a syndrome characterized as a tingling sensation of your hands or feet that can progress to pain. Also, your palms and the soles of your feet become swollen and red with tenderness. Tell your doctor immediately if you experience these symptoms.

    Hair loss can occur while you are receiving fluorouracil. This effect is temporary and will eventually go away.

    Fluorouracil can cause harm to your unborn baby if you receive it during pregnancy. Tell your doctor immediately if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. If you are a man, use appropriate contraceptive measures while you are receiving fluorouracil.

  • Who should not take Fluorouracil?

    Your doctor will not administer fluorouracil to you if you are allergic to it or any of its ingredients. Also, your doctor will not administer fluorouracil if you are in a poor nutritional state, have depressed bone marrow function, or have potentially serious infections.

  • What should I tell my doctor before I take the first dose of Fluorouracil?

    Tell your doctor about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with fluorouracil. Also, talk to your doctor about your complete medical history, especially if you had chemotherapy or a high dose of irradiation to your pelvis, your cancer has spread to your bone marrow, if you have kidney or liver problems, or if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

  • What is the usual dosage?

    The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your doctor uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your doctor may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your doctor's approval.

    Adults: Your doctor will prescribe the appropriate dose for you based on your weight.

  • How should I take Fluorouracil?

    Your doctor will administer fluorouracil to you.

    Your doctor will tell you how often you should receive fluorouracil.

  • What should I avoid while taking Fluorouracil?

    Do not miss your scheduled appointment to receive fluorouracil.

  • What are possible food and drug interactions associated with Fluorouracil?

    If fluorouracil is used with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to tell your doctor if you are taking any of the following prior to treatment with fluorouracil: leucovorin calcium or medicines that add stress to you, depress your bone marrow function, or interfere with your nutrition.

  • What are the possible side effects of Fluorouracil?

    Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this drug.

    Side effects may include: allergic reactions, bleeding of your stomach or intestines, confusion, decreased blood cell counts, diarrhea, hair loss, headache, heart disease, inflammation of your small intestine, injection-site reactions, loss of appetite, nail changes, nausea, numbness or tingling sensation of your palms or soles of your feet, rash, redness or swelling of your palms or soles of your feet, skin inflammation, sores in your mouth and throat, visual changes, vomiting

  • Can I receive Fluorouracil if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

    Fluorouracil can cause harm to your unborn baby if you receive it during pregnancy. The effects of fluorouracil while breastfeeding are unknown. Tell your doctor immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

  • What should I do if I miss a dose of Fluorouracil?

    Contact your doctor if you miss your scheduled appointment to receive fluorouracil.

  • How should I store Fluorouracil?

    Your doctor will store this medication for you.