Headaches With Efudex Treatment

Anne KL Says:

I am on Day 30 of Efudex treatment on the top of my nose and a small area on my chest. I stopped the cream on Day 28 as the skin was starting to erode. I've had headaches the past two weeks that won't go away with ibuprofen, Goody's headache powders, tylenol... nothing. It's caused me to generally feel like crap. Anyone else have these headaches?

4 Replies

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VerFree Says:

Headaches are a possible side effect of Effudex, according to FDA reports, other side effects may include skin burning, dizziness, chills, and nasal irritation.

How long has it been since you stopped using it, now? Has there been any change?

Have you informed your doctor of the problem?

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Steve C Says:

Headaches are common apparently, as is nausea and other gastric issues. And they can vary a lot between individuals. Serious side-effects can include confusion, heart function issues, blood problems, etc.

Personally, I had some nausea and diarrhea, some lethargy and just feeling out-of-sorts for the first 2-3 days before they (mostly) went away.

Check this video which discusses toxicity and dosage variance:


Unfortunately, many doctors don't provide much in the way of a heads-up about side-effects and severity.

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SusanByShore Says:

I recently completed Effudex therapy on my nose & cheeks. This wasn't my first rodeo however this time in addition to the typical burning/localized pain I felt nauseated, fatigued & yes, I had a terrible persistent headache. When I mentioned this to my Dermatologist she seemed surprised. Making my experience more upsetting- my skin definitely reacted to the Effudex as expected but a biopsies showed significant, not superficial BCC on my nose that now requires Mohs to remove the cancer & reconstructive surgery to repair the subsequent damage. As a high risk patient, I have total body skin exams every 3 months.
I knew I couldn't be the only person to experience more systemic effects from Effudex &
wish my Dermatologist didn't act as if this weren't a possibility.

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Rod Says:

I can only speak for myself, but I have not had headaches using 5% Flourouracil. I've started week three of four on my face and head twice a day. The pain has slowly increased with this past week the worse though I can tolerate, but still bad. It's worse after I wash (using recommended Cetaphil) before next application. The skin is a combination of tight, dry and painful. I have a large portion of face and head where cancer, basil cell & Squamous, is present. It alleviates some when I put the cream on. I have to wait 1 1/2 hours before putting vaseline on. That reduces the pain even more, but I do have difficulty sleeping as there are irritations, and outright pain, in small areas but very annoying. I fall asleep for short periods from exhaustion. My instructions say only use vaseline as it helps with irritation and healing. Got a little under two weeks to go so we'll see. I do not take any pain relivers for a couple reasons. I'm on four other unrelated ailments and don't want a med that masks any potential problems, side affects or reactions to my other meds (though I was told there won't be. I know this is more than what you queried about, but thought I'd give you extra information.

I know this is long-winded and answered the headache question you asked but want to

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