5-Fluorouracil or 5-FU (Adrucil)

The Basics:

5-Fluorouracil or 5-FU (brand name- Adrucil) is an FDA-approved drug to treat colon or rectal cancer (cancer that begins in the large intestine) that has worsened or spread to nearby tissues or other body parts. Adrucil is combined with other medications to treat certain types of breast, pancreas, and stomach cancer.

It is in a class of medications called antimetabolites. It works by slowing or stopping the growth of cancer cells in your body.

The most common side effects of the drug are nausea, vomiting, rash, headache, and dizziness. You may also experience chest pain, hives, unusual bleeding, including nosebleeds, and skin peeling, to name a few. Let us walk you through all the relevant details you need to know about 5-Fluorouracil.

Make sure you read the IMPORTANT WARNING section at the end of this article.

How should I take 5-Fluorouracil (Adrucil)?

Fluorouracil injection comes as a solution (liquid) to be given into a vein by a doctor or nurse. The length of treatment depends on the types of drugs you are taking, how well your body responds to them, and the type of cancer you have.

Your doctor may need to delay your treatment or change your dose if you experience certain side effects. You should tell your doctor how you feel during your fluorouracil injection treatment. You can help them by tracking your side effects in Ankr.

What are the side effects of 5-Fluorouracil (Adrucil)?

Serious side effects

Take medical services immediately if you experience

  • sores in the mouth and throat
  • diarrhea
  • vomiting
  • swelling, pain, redness, or peeling of skin on the palms and soles of the feet
  • fever, chills, sore throat, or other signs of an infection
  • hives
  • rash
  • itching
  • difficulty breathing or swallowing
  • nosebleeds
  • coughing up or vomiting blood or material that looks like coffee grounds
  • unusual bleeding or bruising
  • pink, red, or dark brown urine
  • red or tarry black bowel movements
  • chest pain

Fluorouracil may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.

If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online (http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch) or by phone (1-800-332-1088).

Use the free Ankr platform or Ankr app to track your symptoms

What special precautions should I follow?

Before taking 5-Fluorouracil (Adrucil)

  • tell your doctor about your allergies
  • tell your doctor about other intakes
  • also tell your doctor if you have an infection and about past or current diseases and their treatments.
  • you should not become pregnant or breastfeed while you are receiving fluorouracil injections. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

While you are on 5-Fluorouracil (Adrucil)

  • if you become pregnant while receiving fluorouracil injections, call your doctor. Fluorouracil may harm the fetus.
  • you should avoid unnecessary or prolonged sunlight exposure and wear protective clothing, sunglasses, and sunscreen. Fluorouracil may make your skin sensitive to sunlight.

I forgot a dose. What should I do?

Skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.

In case of an emergency/overdose

In case of overdose, call the poison control helpline at 1-800-222-1222. Information is also available online at https://www.poisonhelp.org/help. If the victim has collapsed, had a seizure, has trouble breathing, or can’t be awakened, immediately call emergency services at 911.

Symptoms of overdose may include the following:

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.

Brand names

  • Adrucil® 

This branded product is no longer on the market. Generic alternatives may be available.

Last Revised – 02/17/2023, SG

Fluorouracil injection should be given in a hospital or medical facility under the supervision of a doctor who is experienced in giving chemotherapy medications for cancer. Treatment with fluorouracil injection may cause serious side effects.

Get 24×7 support 5-Fluorouracil (Adrucil)

Don’t go through your cancer journey alone. Use Ankr to:
(1) find the best treatment for your cancer, and
(2) get advanced warning to cut side effects by upto 52%

Sign up for a free 30-day trial now

Did you like this content?

Tell us how we can improve this post?

DISCLAIMER: No part of this content constitutes medical advice, opinion, or should be used for medical decision making without consultation with a licenced medical practitioner and under a patient-provider relationship. All information on the website is provided without any claims of accuracy. For full terms and conditions, visit this link. Content curated by the Ankr team.

↑ Back to top