5-FU also has other names like fluorouracil and 5-fluorouracil. It is a anti-cancer drug that is used in chemotherapy. It belongs to a category of chemotherapy known as anti metabolites. Antimetabolites are similar to substances within a normal cell. When the cells incorporate these substances during cellular metabolism they are unable to divide. This drug is used to treat colon cancer, rectal cancer, anal cancer, gastric cancer and many other types of cancer.
Availability, dosage and administration
5-FU is given as an injection intravenously.
500 mg injection
Most people do not experience side effects while being treated with 5-FU. Even if side effects occur they are predictable in terms of their onset and duration. These side effects are almost always reversible and will go after the treatment is complete. The most common side effects are listed below.
- Nausea and occasional vomiting
- Mouth sores
- Poor appetite
- Watery eyes and sensitivity to light
- Low blood counts
- Taste changes
- Discolouration of vein through which medication is given
- Before starting 5-FU treatment, inform your doctor about other medications that you might be taking.
- Do not take any kind of vaccination or immunization without informing your doctor.
- Inform your doctor before starting the 5-FU treatment if you are pregnant.
- Do not conceive a child while on 5-FU treatment. This applies to both men and women.
- Do not breast-feed while on treatment with 5-FU.