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Skin Therapy Lett. 2001 Jun;6(9):1-4.

5-fluorouracil 0.5% cream for multiple actinic or solar keratoses of the face and anterior scalp.

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Division of Dermatology, Department of Medicine, Sunnybrook and Womens' College Health Sciences Center (Sunnybrook Site), and the University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


Carac (5-fluorouracil 0.5% cream, Aventis Pharma) was approved by the US FDA in October 2000, for the treatment of multiple actinic or solar keratoses involving the face and anterior scalp. The cream should be applied in a thin film once daily to the skin where actinic keratoses (AKs) are present. When it is applied for 1, 2, or 4 weeks, it is significantly more effective than a vehicle in the management of patients with five or more AKs at pretherapy. Pooled data from the two pivotal trials (n=384) indicate that following 4 weeks of therapy the number of subjects with total AK clearance in the Carac and vehicle groups was 52.9% and 1.6% respectively (p<0.001). Furthermore, the corresponding reduction of AK lesion counts in the Carac and vehicle groups was 82.5% and 19.3%, respectively (p<0.001). Treatment should be continued up to 4 weeks as tolerated by the patient. The most common adverse-effect is facial irritation.

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