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Fluorouracil (On the skin)

Treats actinic or solar keratoses (rough, raised areas of skin heavily exposed to sun). Also treats basal cell carcinoma (skin cancer).

What works?

Learn more about the effects of these drugs. The most reliable research is summed up for you in our featured article.

Fluorouracil belongs to the group of medicines known as antimetabolites. When applied to the skin, it is used to treat certain skin problems, including cancer or conditions that could become cancerous if not treated. Fluorouracil interferes with the growth of abnormal cells, which are eventually destroyed. Fluorouracil is available only with your doctor's prescription… Read more
Brand names include
Carac, Efudex, Fluoroplex, Tolak
Other forms
By injection
Drug classes About this
Antineoplastic Agent, Antineoplastic, Dermatological

What works? Research summarized

Evidence reviews

Intravitreal low molecular weight heparin and 5‐Fluorouracil for the prevention of proliferative vitreoretinopathy after retinal reattachment surgery

The two studies included in this review looked at using LMWH with 5‐FU during retinal detachment repair to see if there was an effect of reducing PVR levels after surgery. One study focused on patients who are considered at high‐risk of developing PVR after surgery because of pre‐existing ocular features, and found beneficial effects of this treatment in this group. The other study looked at a wider group of patients and did not find a benefit in using this combination treatment, and in certain patients the treatment was associated with poorer vision. Due to the inconsistency of the evidence, until further data are available, future research on the use of LMWH with 5‐FU should be conducted only in retinal detachment patients who are likely to develop considerable retinal scarring after surgery.

Mitomycin C versus 5‐Fluorouracil for wound healing in glaucoma surgery

Raised intraocular pressure is a risk factor for glaucoma. One treatment option is glaucoma drainage surgery (trabeculectomy) to help lower intraocular pressure. Antimetabolites are medicines used during surgery to help reduce scarring after surgery during wound healing. If scarring occurs it can lead to treatment failure because the drainage channel no longer works. Two agents in common use are MMC and 5‐FU.

5‐Fluorouracil compared with placebo or no intervention during or after surgery for glaucoma

Glaucoma involves a loss of vision that may be associated with raised pressure inside the eye. When glaucoma is diagnosed, it is common to try to reduce that pressure with medical, laser or surgical procedures (trabeculectomy). Surgery does not immediately restore vision, and may involve extra vision loss in the short term. Drugs can be used to modify wound healing to improve the likelihood of the success of surgery.

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Summaries for consumers

Intravitreal low molecular weight heparin and 5‐Fluorouracil for the prevention of proliferative vitreoretinopathy after retinal reattachment surgery

The two studies included in this review looked at using LMWH with 5‐FU during retinal detachment repair to see if there was an effect of reducing PVR levels after surgery. One study focused on patients who are considered at high‐risk of developing PVR after surgery because of pre‐existing ocular features, and found beneficial effects of this treatment in this group. The other study looked at a wider group of patients and did not find a benefit in using this combination treatment, and in certain patients the treatment was associated with poorer vision. Due to the inconsistency of the evidence, until further data are available, future research on the use of LMWH with 5‐FU should be conducted only in retinal detachment patients who are likely to develop considerable retinal scarring after surgery.

Mitomycin C versus 5‐Fluorouracil for wound healing in glaucoma surgery

Raised intraocular pressure is a risk factor for glaucoma. One treatment option is glaucoma drainage surgery (trabeculectomy) to help lower intraocular pressure. Antimetabolites are medicines used during surgery to help reduce scarring after surgery during wound healing. If scarring occurs it can lead to treatment failure because the drainage channel no longer works. Two agents in common use are MMC and 5‐FU.

5‐Fluorouracil compared with placebo or no intervention during or after surgery for glaucoma

Glaucoma involves a loss of vision that may be associated with raised pressure inside the eye. When glaucoma is diagnosed, it is common to try to reduce that pressure with medical, laser or surgical procedures (trabeculectomy). Surgery does not immediately restore vision, and may involve extra vision loss in the short term. Drugs can be used to modify wound healing to improve the likelihood of the success of surgery.

See all (42)

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