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Generic name: fluorouracil topical
Brand names: Carac, Efudex, FluoroplexTolak
Drug class: Topical antineoplastics

Medically reviewed by  A Ras MD.

What is Carac?

Carac is a cream a prescription medicine that is used by adults to treat skin conditions on the face and front part of the scalp called solar keratosis or actinic keratosis.


Carac® (fluorouracil cream) Cream, 0.5%, contains fluorouracil for topical dermatologic use. Chemically, fluorouracil is 5-fluoro-2,4(1H, 3H)-pyrimidinedione. The molecular formula is C4H3FN2O2. Fluorouracil has a molecular weight of 130.08.

Fluorouracil Chemical Structure

Carac Cream contains 0.5% fluorouracil, with 0.35% being incorporated into a patented porous microsphere (Microsponge®) composed of methyl methacrylate/glycol dimethacrylate crosspolymer and dimethicone. The cream formulation contains the following other inactive ingredients: Carbomer Homopolymer Type C, glycerin, methyl gluceth-20, methylparaben, octyl hydroxy stearate, polyethylene glycol 400, polysorbate 80, propylene glycol, propylparaben, purified water, sorbitan monooleate, stearic acid, and trolamine.

Who should not use Carac?

Do not use Carac:

  • if you are pregnant or might become pregnant. Carac may harm your unborn child.
  • if you are nursing a baby. We do not know if Carac can pass to the baby through the milk.
  • if you have dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase (DPD) enzyme deficiency. The active ingredient in Carac, fluorouracil, can cause serious side effects in patients who are DPD enzyme deficient. If you have DPD enzyme deficiency and use medications containing fluorouracil, you may develop serious side effects such as stomach pain, bloody diarrhea, vomiting, fever, or chills.
  • if you are allergic to the ingredients in Carac. Ask your doctor or pharmacist about the inactive ingredients.
  • if you are under 18 years of age. Carac should not be used in children.

Tell your doctor if you are able to become pregnant. Your doctor may advise you about birth control to avoid pregnancy.

How should I use Carac?

Use Carac once a day as instructed by your doctor. Use it only on your skin. You should use Carac for up to 4 weeks.

1. Clean the area where you will apply Carac. Rinse well and dry the area with a towel and wait 10 minutes before applying Carac.
2. Put Carac on your face as directed by your physician, using your fingertips. Use enough to cover the affected skin.
3. Avoid contact with your eyes, nostrils, and mouth.
4. Wash your hands as soon as you finish putting Carac on your skin.
5. A moisturizer/sunscreen may be applied 2 hours after Carac has been applied. Do not use any other skin products, including creams, lotions, medications, or cosmetics – unless instructed by your doctor.

What should I avoid while taking Carac?

Avoid sunlight or other ultraviolet light (such as tanning booths) as much as possible while using Carac. Sunlight may increase your side effects. When exposed to sunlight, wear a hat and use sunscreen.

Do not cover the treated skin with a dressing.

Do not breast feed or become pregnant while using Carac. If you do become pregnant, stop using Carac and tell your doctor right away.

What are the possible side effects of Carac?

Most patients using Carac get skin reactions where the medicine is used. These reactions include redness, dryness, burning, pain, erosion (loss of the upper layer of skin), and swelling. Irritation may continue for 2 or more weeks after treatment is over. The treated area may become unsightly during therapy.

Some patients get eye irritation. Eye irritation might consist of burning, sensitivity, itching, stinging, and watering. If you are concerned about side effects, talk to your doctor.

A few patients have reported side effects such as stomach pain, diarrhea, vomiting, fever, or chills, possibly due to the lack of a specific enzyme, DPD, in their body. If you experience any of these symptoms, discontinue therapy immediately, and contact your doctor.

General information about the safe and effective use of Carac

Medicines are sometimes prescribed for conditions that are not described in patient information leaflets. Do not use Carac for a condition for which it was not prescribed. This medicine is for your use only. Never give it to other people. It may harm them even if their skin problem appears to be the same as yours. Do not use Carac after the expiration date on the tube.

How should I store Carac?

Keep this medicine at room temperature 68° to 77° F (20° to 25° C). Throw away unused medicine.

Keep this medicine out of reach of children.

What are the ingredients in Carac?

Active ingredient: fluorouracil

Inactive ingredients: carbomer homopolymer type c (allyl pentaerythritol crosslinked), glycerin, methyl gluceth-20, methylparaben, polyethylene glycol 400, polysorbate 80, propylene glycol, propylparaben, water, sorbitan monooleate, stearic acid, trolamine, dimethicone



  • NDC 0187-5200-30
  • Rx only
  • Carac®
    (fluorouracil cream)
    CREAM, 0.5%
  • Net Wt. 30 g
  • Ortho Dermatologics


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