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Medications and Drugs

Brand Names: Adrucil

Generic Name: fluorouracil (injection) (Pronunciation: FLOOR oh URE a sil)

What is fluorouracil (Adrucil)?

Fluorouracil is a cancer medication. Fluorouracil interferes with the growth of cancer cells and slows their growth and spread in the body.

Fluorouracil is used to treat cancer of the colon, rectum, breast, stomach, or pancreas.

Fluorouracil treats only the symptoms of cancer but does not treat the cancer itself.

Fluorouracil may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

What are the possible side effects of fluorouracil (Adrucil)?

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • signs of infection such as fever, chills, sore throat, flu symptoms;
  • white patches or sores inside your mouth or throat, or on your lips;
  • pale skin, easy bruising or bleeding (nosebleeds, bleeding gums, or any bleeding that will not stop);
  • weakness or fainting;
  • black, bloody, or tarry stools;
  • coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds;
  • watery diarrhea, ongoing or severe vomiting;
  • hand-foot syndrome (tingling, pain, redness, swelling, or tenderness in the palms of your hands and the soles of your feet);
  • numbness or tingling anywhere in your body, loss of muscle control; or
  • chest pain, sudden weakness on one side of the body, confusion, or problems with vision, speech, or balance.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • temporary hair loss;
  • mild to moderate nausea and vomiting, loss of appetite;
  • mild, itchy skin rash;
  • eye dryness, watering, or increased sensitivity to light; or
  • temporary loss of your fingernails or toenails.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What is the most important information I should know about fluorouracil (Adrucil)?

You should not receive this medication if you are allergic to fluorouracil, or if you have bone marrow depression, a serious infection, or if you are malnourished or are not receiving proper nutrition.

Before you receive fluorouracil, tell your doctor if you have cancer that has spread to your bone marrow, liver or kidney disease, if you have ever had radiation treatment of your pelvic area, or if you have ever received other cancer medications in the past.

Do not receive fluorouracil without telling your doctor if you are pregnant. It could harm the unborn baby. Use effective birth control, and tell your doctor if you become pregnant during treatment.

You should not breast-feed a baby while being treated with fluorouracil.

Fluorouracil can lower blood cells that help your body fight infections. Avoid being near people who have colds, the flu, or other contagious illnesses. Do not receive a live vaccine during your fluorouracil treatment. Contact your doctor at once if you develop signs of infection such as fever, chills, sore throat, flu symptoms, easy bruising or bleeding, mouth sores, or unusual weakness.

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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