Floxuridine (patient information)

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About your treatment

Your doctor has ordered the drug floxuridine to help treat your illness. The drug is given by injection into a catheter that is placed in an artery.

This medication is used to treat:

  • adenocarcinoma of the gastrointestinal tract

This medication is sometimes prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Floxuridine is in a class of drugs known as pyrimidine analogs. The drug is changed in your body to resemble a substance cancer cells need in order to grow. Cancer cells take up floxuridine, which then slows or stops the growth of cancer cells in your body. 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.

Other uses for this medicine

Floxuridine is also used to treat head, neck, brain, liver, gallbladder, and bile duct cancer. Floxuridine has been given by injection into a vein to treat solid tumors, acute leukemia in children, and cytomegalic inclusion disease in children with acute leukemia. Talk to your doctor about the possible risks of using this drug for your condition.


Before taking floxuridine:

  • tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to floxuridine or any other drugs.
  • tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications you are taking, especially aspirin, any other cancer chemotherapeutic agents, and vitamins.
  • tell your doctor if you have or have ever had kidney or liver disease.
  • you should know that floxuridine may interfere with the normal menstrual cycle (period) in women and may stop sperm production in men. However, you should not assume that you cannot get pregnant or that you cannot get someone else pregnant. Women who are pregnant or breast-feeding should tell their doctors before they begin taking this drug. You should not plan to have children while receiving chemotherapy or for a while after treatments. (Talk to your doctor for further details.) Use a reliable method of birth control to prevent pregnancy. Floxuridine may harm the fetus.
  • do not have any vaccinations (e.g., measles or flu shots) without talking to your doctor.

Side effects

Minor side effects

Side effects from floxuridine are common and include:

  • loss of appetite
  • thinned or brittle hair
  • drying or darkening of the skin or nails (sunlight may increase this darkening)
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • stomach cramping or pain
  • diarrhea

Tell your doctor if either of these symptoms is severe or lasts for several hours:

  • mouth blistering
  • fatigue or weakness

Severe side effects

If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:

  • unusual bruising or bleeding
  • fever
  • chills
  • cough
  • sore throat or difficulty swallowing
  • dizziness
  • shortness of breath
  • severe vomiting
  • rash, blistering of the skin, or acne
  • change in normal bowel habits for more than 2 days

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 [at http://www.fda.gov/MedWatch/report.htm] or by phone [1-800-332-1088].

In case of emergency/overdose

In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.

Special instructions

The most common side effect of floxuridine is a decrease of blood cells. Your doctor may order tests before, during, and after your treatment to see if your blood cells are affected by the drug.

Brand names

  • FUDR®

Other names

  • Fluorodeoxyuridine

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