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fluorouracil (injection) (cont.)

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before receiving 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.

If you have any of these other conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely receive this medication:

  • cancer that has spread to your bone marrow;
  • liver disease;
  • kidney disease; or
  • if you have ever had radiation treatment of your pelvic area.

Tell your doctor about all other cancer medications you have received in the past, especially BiCNU, CeeNU, Cytoxan, DTIC-Dome, Gliadel, Leukeran, Myeleran, Neosar, Temodar, or Zanosar.

FDA pregnancy category D. 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.

It is not known whether fluorouracil passes into breast milk. However, you should not breast-feed a baby while being treated with fluorouracil.

How is fluorouracil given (Adrucil)?

Fluorouracil is given as an injection through a needle placed into a vein. You will receive this injection in a clinic or hospital setting.

Your first dose of fluorouracil will be given in a hospital setting where you can be closely watched in case the medication causes serious side effects.

Fluorouracil injections are usually given daily for 3 or 4 days in a row, and then every other day for another 3 or 4 days. This treatment cycle may be repeated once a month. You may also receive a weekly dose. Follow your doctor's instructions.

How often you need fluorouracil injections will depend on many factors, including side effects and how your body responds to the medication. Try not to miss any appointments for your fluorouracil injections.

Your white blood cell (WBC) counts may need to be checked with a blood test before you receive each fluorouracil dose. This will help your doctor determine whether you can safely receive the injection.

Tell your caregivers if you feel any burning, pain, or swelling around the IV needle when the medicine is injected.

Fluorouracil can lower blood cells that help your body fight infections. This can make it easier for you to bleed from an injury or get sick from being around others who are ill. Contact your doctor at once if you develop signs of infection such as fever, chills, sore throat, flu symptoms, easy bruising or bleeding (nosebleeds, bleeding gums), 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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