Efudex and/or Equivalents
|Drug||Related Drug Names|
|Efudex 5% and/or Equivalents||Efudix Cream|
Efudex Drug Description
Efudex is the brand name of a medication that is prescribed for the treatment of skin lesions and non-melanoma skin cancer resulting from continuous over-exposure to the harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun. The skin lesions are termed as Actinic Keratoses (AK) or solar keratoses and the skin cancer is termed as Superficial Basal Cell Carcinoma (sBCC). Such types of skin disease are becoming increasingly popular as people spend more and more time in the sun. Efudex has been found to be effective in treating both the ailments irrespective of gender and age. The prime ingredient in Efudex is fluorinated pyrimidine 5-fluorouracil which is an antineoplastic antimetabolite agent. It is available both as a cream and a solution. The solution has two strengths of 2% and 5% and is available in drop dispensers of 10ml and 25ml. The inactive ingredients in Efudex are propylene glycol, hydroxypropyl cellulose, methyl and propyl parabens, tris (hydroxymethyl) aminomethane and disodium edetate. Efudex cream is presented as a vanishing cream formulation with 5% fluorouracil. Its excipients include white petrolatum, propylene glycol, stearyl alcohol, methyl and propyl parabens and polysorbate 60. It is available as 40gm tubes. This FDA approved medication is available only on prescription and is presented by Valeant Pharmaceuticals International.
Conditions Treated by Efudex
Both Efudex 2% and 5% are prescribed for treating multiple actinic keratoses (AK) or solar keratoses. Initially, AKs appear as brown, reddish-brown or tan coloured patches which can be tiny, flat, raised or with scaly white tops that are rough to touch. They can either be visible or grow as invisible lesions under the skin. Gradually, AKs grow and multiply on all parts of the skin that are exposed to the sun. If untreated, AKs can grow into Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC) which is a type of skin cancer. Efudex 5% is also effective in treating Superficial Basal Cell Carcinoma (sBCC) which is one of the most common forms of benign skin cancer. It appears as clusters of multiple lesions on the skin areas that are exposed to the sun. Efudex is prescribed when surgery or other conventional treatments of sBCC are not feasible. The medicine works by killing the unhealthy cells because of which you may experience redness and peeling of skin during the initial stages of treatment.
Efudex Dosage Information
a.) Typical dosage recommendations
Typical dosage of a medicine is influenced by several factors like gender, age, body weight, present and past medical conditions etc. Your physician is the best person to determine the ideal dosage for you. Generally, usual dosage of Efudex is twice daily to be applied in the morning and evening or as directed by your physician. The usual duration of therapy is two to four weeks for AK and ten to twelve weeks for sBCC. Sufficient cream or solution should be applied to cover the entire lesions.
b.) Missing a dose
In case you have forgotten to apply your cream or solution on time, apply it as soon as you remember. However, skip the missed dose in case it is almost time to apply the next scheduled dose. Do not apply excess cream or solution in order to compensate for a missed dose.
Efudex is an extremely safe medication and no severe repercussions are expected in case of overdose. Even then, contact your physician immediately or visit your nearest poison control centre in case Efudex has been accidentally ingested.
Discuss with your doctor all the risks and benefits of using Efudex before commencing treatment. The formulation can cause severe inflammation and irritation of the affected parts during the initial stages of treatment. You should be aware of this and other side effects of using Efudex. If case you feel uneasy, speak to your physician but never discontinue treatment on your own. Do not alter doses or apply on new spots/lesions without medical consultation. Both the active and inactive ingredients of Efudex may react adversely with other medicines. Your doctor must therefore know all about your past and present medical condition, other prescription drugs you are using presently or any allergic reactions you are susceptible to. Efudex is meant only for topical application. Do not ingest the medicine or apply to sensitive areas like eyes or eyelids. Avoid applying on mucous membranes like inside of the mouth, eyes, anus or vagina as this may lead to ulceration or local inflammation. While undergoing treatment with Efudex, stay away from sun as much as possible. If you have to go out, take proper precautions like applying sunscreen lotions (minimum SPF 15) or wearing hats and clothes that cover the affected areas. Do not use any cosmetics or other over-the-counter skin products like lotions, creams etc while undergoing treatment with Efudex unless it is approved by your doctor. Doing so may interfere with the efficacy of the medication or increase the irritation. Always apply Efudex cream with a non-metallic application like a cotton swab or use gloves. In case you are applying by hand, wash your hands thoroughly after application. Efudex solution is available with a built-in applicator through which you can apply the adequate quantity of solution on the affected area. Never cover the affected areas of your skin with gauze or bandages unless advised by your doctor. Inform your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become so or if you are nursing. S/he may then reconsider prescribing Efudex for you. Always store Efudex in a cool and dry place away from direct sunlight. It should not be accessible to children and pets. Always discard any unused portion of the medication once you have completed your treatment. Never share the medicine with anybody else even if the symptoms are similar.
Efudex Side Effects
Typical side effects of Efudex include
- Burning / itching / redness / scaling / peeling / tenderness of the affected areas
- Medicinal taste in the mouth
- Sensitivity to sunlight
- Watery eyes
It is normal for medicinal formulations to interact with each other which may or may not lead to adverse effects. To help you doctor decide on the safety and efficacy of Efudex for you, disclose information about all prescription and non-prescription drugs you are using including dietary supplements, herbal formulations, vitamins, health drinks etc. You should also disclose everything regarding your addiction to nicotine, caffeine, alcohol or street drugs.
If you have any questions about buying discount Efudex online or any other prescription products you can contact our team of professional Patient Service Representatives or one of our pharmacists 24-7 by calling 1-800-226-3784.
Notice: The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.