Lessons learned and tips on using Efudex or Carac

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RE: Efudex or Carac or Fluorouracil

by CandyTex on Tue Mar 12, 2019 06:33 PM

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Hi Robin!

Thanks for your note. I've not heard of the Picato treatment.

I'm on my 12th day of treatment today, applying 2x/day over entire face. Here's what I've experienced:

Days 1-6:   Facial skin felt very dry. Very slight itching from day 3 forward.

Day 7-10: Red spots began appearing on forehead...hardly noticeable at first but progressively more pronouced as treatment proceeded along. Area above lipline and on chin started looking like a had a red rash. A bit tender but not bad. By Day 10 the redness was noticeable to me. This area of my face is a bit more senstive now and still feels dry. Still tolerable. 

Day 11-12: Red spotting more pronounced now with same areas of redness as mentioned above. Note...this is not the fiery red I've seen in other blog sites, just noticeable to me. Again slight itching which I merely tap on face with my finger to relieve. Still avoiding any moisturizers as the dryness is tolerable. I took 1 tablet of Tylenol 8hr arthritis last night at bedtime as a precaution and slept very well.

At this point, I'm feeling a bit self-conscious this last day about the red areas on face. Most times going into stores no one notices as they are too focused on their own business. Haven't tried applying make-up to cover redness...just haven't felt the need. I might consider it in future depending on circumstances when I leave the house. 

My first impressions is that the compounded lotion (efudex/dovonex) may be more tolerable than the straight efudex, but hopefully also more effective also. Some of the blogs show horrible redness which I haven't yet experienced.

I'll check back in a few days and report again. I'll be checking with my Dr. to see if she wants to extend treatment a 3rd week. I'd like to stop after the two weeks, so I can begin the healing process, but we'll see.

Take care and thanks for your inquiry.

RE: Efudex or Carac or Fluorouracil

by Robincm on Sat Mar 23, 2019 10:16 AM

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Hi CandyTex, Thankyou so much for the update. It certainly sounds as if the combination treatment is less agonising! Good luck with the results. Please do keep us updated again. I will certainly be talking to my Dr about trying it next time I need treatment. Picaro is just a 3 day treatment but is also very aggressive. Best regards, Robin

RE: Lessons learned and tips on using Efudex or Carac

by subrosean on Sat May 18, 2019 07:31 PM

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Hello, I am so grateful to have found your post. I am being treated with fluorouracil for actinic cheilitis of my lower lip. I did a 1 week treatment once a day followed by a week of no treatment. Today I should begin my second week of treatment; however, my bottom lip has two areas that are completely scabbed except for a couple tiny spots that are still raw. Should I begin the second course now or wait until it's all scabbed. I want to make sure to do this right so I never have to do it again.

RE: Efudex or Carac or Fluorouracil

by CandyTex on Sun May 19, 2019 12:01 AM

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On Mar 23, 2019 10:16 AM Robincm wrote:

Hi CandyTex, Thankyou so much for the update. It certainly sounds as if the combination treatment is less agonising! Good luck with the results. Please do keep us updated again. I will certainly be talking to my Dr about trying it next time I need treatment. Picaro is just a 3 day treatment but is also very aggressive. Best regards, Robin

I finished my 2 wk treatment of efudex/dovenex combo (2x/day) at the end of March and here is feedback from my experience that might be helpful to others:

- keep your face moisturized as skin becomes very dryed. I used Ceraphil daily moisturiser as Aquaphor and Vaseline were too heavy. 

- redness begins early and scaling increases from day 7 to 15 and then rapidly continues for 4 to 5 days after that. I starts to improve day 21 and beyond.

- itching was almost the worst part of my experience with the red/soreness above my lips and on chin second. Over the counter Cortisone gel/cream 1% did not work for me. My dermatologist said she'd order me a prescription of stronger cortisone next time. 

- while you may initially see red blotches across your face, not all of these spots will end of scaling/peeling. It must means your immune system is working (per my dermatologist)

- expect that after you stop the treatment, you may not feel like things are improving. Hang in there, as after 4 to 5 days the relief comes pretty rapidly from symptoms.

My dermatologist said my face looks terrific. I am hopeful that I will not experience basal cell or squamous cell again. I may want to do this every 1 or 2 years to keep on top of emerging sun damage,

Good luck to everyone who is contemplating it. We all loved the sun, but didn't ever anticipate we'd be facing this cancer risk as we aged!

RE: Efudex or Carac or Fluorouracil

by melanomaremedy on Mon Aug 19, 2019 09:38 PM

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On May 19, 2019 12:01 AM CandyTex wrote:

On Mar 23, 2019 10:16 AM Robincm wrote:

Hi CandyTex, Thankyou so much for the update. It certainly sounds as if the combination treatment is less agonising! Good luck with the results. Please do keep us updated again. I will certainly be talking to my Dr about trying it next time I need treatment. Picaro is just a 3 day treatment but is also very aggressive. Best regards, Robin

I finished my 2 wk treatment of efudex/dovenex combo (2x/day) at the end of March and here is feedback from my experience that might be helpful to others:

- keep your face moisturized as skin becomes very dryed. I used Ceraphil daily moisturiser as Aquaphor and Vaseline were too heavy. 

- redness begins early and scaling increases from day 7 to 15 and then rapidly continues for 4 to 5 days after that. I starts to improve day 21 and beyond.

- itching was almost the worst part of my experience with the red/soreness above my lips and on chin second. Over the counter Cortisone gel/cream 1% did not work for me. My dermatologist said she'd order me a prescription of stronger cortisone next time. 

- while you may initially see red blotches across your face, not all of these spots will end of scaling/peeling. It must means your immune system is working (per my dermatologist)

- expect that after you stop the treatment, you may not feel like things are improving. Hang in there, as after 4 to 5 days the relief comes pretty rapidly from symptoms.

My dermatologist said my face looks terrific. I am hopeful that I will not experience basal cell or squamous cell again. I may want to do this every 1 or 2 years to keep on top of emerging sun damage,

Good luck to everyone who is contemplating it. We all loved the sun, but didn't ever anticipate we'd be facing this cancer risk as we aged!

Wow I thought Cancer Compass was failing me because I wasn't receiving new contributions from this thread. Would have thought there would be many questions / much enthusiasm for this dual treatment.

Credentials: Metastatic melanoma stage 4 survivor & ten year veteran of Efudex...this new combo vitamin D ( Calcipotriene, Dovenex (sp? ) accelerent brings this treatment into the realm of humane!  CandyTex's treatment is a long one for this combo. Much info speaks of 4, 5 days twice day -  when I'm embarking I'll always add some to "finalize" situation.  I went 10 days twice day and in recovery only week but prospects are looking good. Will post further down the line.  This speeds up the kill dramatically with no more pain & as of now no decline in efficacy.

100 times better treatment

& all information so generously offered here very much applicable !

Original poster on this combo thank you so much & I'm educating the many dermatologists I've encountered in my situation ....surprising how many do not know of this.

all the best,  john

RE: Lessons learned and tips on using Efudex or Carac

by leonavonhasling on Sat Sep 28, 2019 06:16 PM

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On Jan 24, 2011 2:37 AM suziespip wrote:

Oh Deb Deb Deb Thank you so much for taking the time and trouble to write this .. No other site has given me so much hope and relief.. I am 71 and am now on the 15 day of Carac..Sometimes its looks like I am on the downhill and then all of a sudden I look like I was in a fire., Mostly on the hairline and the smile lines. The smile lines seem to inflame the most. Thabk you for saying not to use moisturize. No matter what I tried even that one the Dr said to use It burned like crazy. It feels the best when I am out in the cold. It also looks good in the am. I put the carac on in am when I get up and wash at night. Leaving my face free. I was instructed to use it once a day. I don't think th DR prepared me for all this He made it seeem like a rash and uncomfortable..I sleep pretty good but now that you said week 3 was bad I am scared. I feel so isolated as everyone seems to say see I told you so about the sun The Dr said people even have this where sthe sun doesn't get to it.

Hope all turned out well for you. Don't even know if you will get this but, I'm scared. Just started Efudex and feel like I'm jumping into a pit of hell.  Only encouragement is that you guys went through the firey furnace and came out. 

RE: Lessons learned and tips on using Efudex or Carac

by DianeAurit on Sat Sep 28, 2019 09:10 PM

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On Sep 28, 2019 6:16 PM leonavonhasling wrote:

On Jan 24, 2011 2:37 AM suziespip wrote:

Oh Deb Deb Deb Thank you so much for taking the time and trouble to write this .. No other site has given me so much hope and relief.. I am 71 and am now on the 15 day of Carac..Sometimes its looks like I am on the downhill and then all of a sudden I look like I was in a fire., Mostly on the hairline and the smile lines. The smile lines seem to inflame the most. Thabk you for saying not to use moisturize. No matter what I tried even that one the Dr said to use It burned like crazy. It feels the best when I am out in the cold. It also looks good in the am. I put the carac on in am when I get up and wash at night. Leaving my face free. I was instructed to use it once a day. I don't think th DR prepared me for all this He made it seeem like a rash and uncomfortable..I sleep pretty good but now that you said week 3 was bad I am scared. I feel so isolated as everyone seems to say see I told you so about the sun The Dr said people even have this where sthe sun doesn't get to it.

Hope all turned out well for you. Don't even know if you will get this but, I'm scared. Just started Efudex and feel like I'm jumping into a pit of hell.  Only encouragement is that you guys went through the firey furnace and came out. 

This group will help you get through your own "hell".  I have been doing treatments periodically for 24 years.  Trust me, as hard as it is go get through, the results are worth it!!!!  Don't give up and do follow the original post's list of suggestions as they do help a lot. If you have any questions just post them here and you will get a lot of help!

RE: Lessons learned and tips on using Efudex or Carac

by leonavonhasling on Sun Sep 29, 2019 05:14 PM

Quote | Reply

On Sep 28, 2019 9:10 PM DianeAurit wrote:

On Sep 28, 2019 6:16 PM leonavonhasling wrote:

On Jan 24, 2011 2:37 AM suziespip wrote:

Oh Deb Deb Deb Thank you so much for taking the time and trouble to write this .. No other site has given me so much hope and relief.. I am 71 and am now on the 15 day of Carac..Sometimes its looks like I am on the downhill and then all of a sudden I look like I was in a fire., Mostly on the hairline and the smile lines. The smile lines seem to inflame the most. Thabk you for saying not to use moisturize. No matter what I tried even that one the Dr said to use It burned like crazy. It feels the best when I am out in the cold. It also looks good in the am. I put the carac on in am when I get up and wash at night. Leaving my face free. I was instructed to use it once a day. I don't think th DR prepared me for all this He made it seeem like a rash and uncomfortable..I sleep pretty good but now that you said week 3 was bad I am scared. I feel so isolated as everyone seems to say see I told you so about the sun The Dr said people even have this where sthe sun doesn't get to it.

Hope all turned out well for you. Don't even know if you will get this but, I'm scared. Just started Efudex and feel like I'm jumping into a pit of hell.  Only encouragement is that you guys went through the firey furnace and came out. 

This group will help you get through your own "hell".  I have been doing treatments periodically for 24 years.  Trust me, as hard as it is go get through, the results are worth it!!!!  Don't give up and do follow the original post's list of suggestions as they do help a lot. If you have any questions just post them here and you will get a lot of help!

Thank you for answering,Susiespip.  I loved your original post and am so thankful you took the time to reach out to unknown people who need your support.  It means a lot to me that you answered and are out there.  I will "hang in" there.  No choice. No turning back.  "This too shall pass".  I will probably have questions as time goes on since I'm only in my 2nd day.  Oh here's one:  someone mentioned using paper towels to dry off the face after washing. Is the Efudex contaminating and retained in a hand towel?  

RE: Lessons learned and tips on using Efudex or Carac

by DianeAurit on Sun Sep 29, 2019 06:43 PM

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Efudex spreads very easily.  I noticed if I even touch a place on my face and then another not with Efudex it will react.  So, regarding towels, just wash your hands throroughly and then wipe with a clean towel.  If your hands are Efudex free then I think you will be fine.  If you touch a towel before washing your hands then I wouldn't re-use it.  You will find it spreads on your face beyond where you apply it so be careful not to get it around your eyes or lips.  Take care!

RE: Lessons learned and tips on using Efudex or Carac

by CandyTex on Sun Sep 29, 2019 09:39 PM

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My dermatologist told me efuddex/dovonex combo only reacts to areas where sun damaged skin is present and susceptible to skin cancer formation. My doc had me apply on my entire face and only certain areas reacted by reddening and peeling. I found treatment generally dries out skin wherever applies.
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