Efudix / Efudex

Efudix / Efudex

Best used: AM/PM Caution: Irritant dermatitisBest for: Sun damage, solar keratosis
Comments: Old fashioned, but worksMode of action: Topical chemotherapyScience Score:



What is the science behind Efudix-Efudex?

This cream is essentially chemotherapy in a tube. Efudex is classed as an antimetabolite. The real name is 5 Fluorouracil. This drug has been used to treat many types of cancer since the 1970s including bowel to skin carcinomas.

Does Efudex / Efudix affect normal skin?


Efudix Cream is used to treat cancer & precancer lesions. The active chemical is a form of chemotherapy that kills abnormal cells whilst having little impact on normal skin. Most patients will experience skin irritation of the surrounding skin making the areas look inflamed. Be guided by your physician as there are simple ways to protect the surrounding arrears if this happens. Simple hydrocortisone or even Vaseline can reduce collateral inflammation.

How long should I use Efudix-Efudex for?

Check with your prescribing doctor or dermatologist. As a guide-


  • Sunspots: twice a day for 2 weeks
  • IECs & Bowen Disease: twice a day for 3-6 weeks
  • Chemoprophylaxis: Pulsed 1-2 times per week

Davin’s View on Efudex-Efudix use

This is still a relevant compound, even in the age of lasers & new skin cancer creams. This treatment is ‘bang for your buck’ – high clearance rate, cost effective but hampered with prolonged side effects such as redness, scale, itchy, erosions & ulceration. Regardless it has its use, especially if costs (excluding time taken from work) is an important factor.

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