This information from Lexicomp® explains what you need to know about this medication, including what it’s used for, how to take it, its side effects, and when to call your healthcare provider.
- It is used to treat a precancerous skin problem called actinic keratosis.
- It may be given to you for other reasons. Talk with the doctor.
- If you have an allergy to this drug or any part of this drug.
- If you are allergic to any drugs like this one, any other drugs, foods, or other substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had, like rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
- If you have a dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase (DPD) deficiency or kidney disease.
- If you have any of these health problems: Basal cell cancer or Bowen’s disease.
- If you have taken brivudine or sorivudine in the last 4 weeks.
- If you are pregnant or may be pregnant. Do not take this drug if you are pregnant.
- If you are breast-feeding. Do not breast-feed while you take this drug.
This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with this drug.
Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take this drug with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.
- Tell all of your health care providers that you take this drug. This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
- Certain acne products that contain benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid can rarely cause very bad and sometimes life-threatening allergic reactions or very bad irritation. Before first use, you may need to follow certain steps to make sure you do not have an allergic reaction. Use this drug as you were told by the doctor or read the package label. Talk with the doctor.
- It may take several weeks to see the full effects.
- Do not use longer than you have been told by the doctor.
- The treated area may be more sensitive to light. Light may cause a burning or stinging feeling. Protect the treated area and skin around it from sun, sunlamps, bright indoor lights, and tanning beds after this drug is put on and for as long as you have been told by your doctor. Wear the proper covering like a wide-brimmed hat, long sleeve shirt, or gloves to protect the treated skin from light. Sunscreens will not help.
- Talk with your doctor before you use other drugs or products on your skin.
- This drug may catch on fire. Do not use near an open flame or while smoking.
- This drug may stain fabric, flooring, painted surfaces, marble, granite, vinyl, and enamel.
- Most people using this drug get skin reactions where this drug is used. These reactions include burning, dryness, irritation, redness, pain, and swelling. Irritation may last for 2 weeks or longer after you stop using this drug. Call your doctor if you get a skin reaction that bothers you.
- The chance of severe and sometimes deadly side effects is raised in patients who do not have the enzyme dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase (DPD) in the body. These include mouth irritation or sores, diarrhea, low white blood cell counts, or nerve problems.
- This drug may affect how much of some other drugs are in your body. If you are taking other drugs, talk with your doctor. You may need to have your blood work checked more closely while taking this drug with your other drugs.
- This drug may cause harm to the unborn baby if you take it while you are pregnant. If you are pregnant or you get pregnant while taking this drug, call your doctor right away.
- Use birth control to prevent pregnancy during treatment with this drug. You may also need to use birth control for some time after your last dose. Talk with your doctor to see if you need to use birth control after you stop this drug.
WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:
- Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
- Stomach pain.
- Stomach cramps.
- Upset stomach or throwing up.
- Mouth irritation or mouth sores.
- Any unexplained bruising or bleeding.
- Black stools.
- Ringing in ears.
- Fast breathing.
- A fast heartbeat.
- Feeling confused.
- Feeling sleepy.
All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:
These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You may report side effects to your national health agency.
Use this drug as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.
- To gain the most benefit, do not miss doses.
- Do not take this drug by mouth. Use on your skin only. Keep out of your mouth, nose, and eyes (may burn).
- If you get this drug in the eyes, flush right away with cool water and get medical help.
- Wash your hands before and after use.
- Before putting this drug on, take off the white film left on the treated skin from where it was put on the day before.
- Clean affected part before use. Make sure to dry well.
- Put a thin layer on the affected skin.
- Avoid putting on healthy skin.
- Do not use coverings (bandages, dressings) unless told to do so by the doctor.
- Do not put on cuts, scrapes, eczema, or damaged skin.
- Do not put on any lesions that are bleeding.
- Skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
- Do not put on 2 doses or extra doses.
- Store at room temperature. Do not refrigerate or freeze.
- Protect from heat or open flame.
- Keep lid tightly closed.
- After opening, be sure you know how long the product is good for and how to store it. Ask the doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure.
- Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
- Throw away unused or expired drugs. Do not flush down a toilet or pour down a drain unless you are told to do so. Check with your pharmacist if you have questions about the best way to throw out drugs. There may be drug take-back programs in your area.
- If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
- Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else’s drugs.
- Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
- Talk with the doctor before starting any new drug, including prescription or OTC, natural products, or vitamins.
- Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. If you have any questions about this drug, please talk with your doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only the healthcare provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for a specific patient. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from the healthcare provider. You must talk with the healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.
© 2019 Wolters Kluwer Clinical Drug Information, Inc. and its affiliates and/or licensors. All rights reserved.