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    Fluorouracil (5-FU), sold under the brand name Adrucil among others, is a medication used to treat cancer. By injection into a vein it is used for colon canceresophageal cancerstomach cancerpancreatic cancerbreast cancer, and cervical cancer. As a cream it is used for actinic keratosis and basal cell carcinoma.

    When used by injection most people develop side effects. Common side effects include inflammation of the mouth, loss of appetite, low blood cell counts, hair loss, and inflammation of the skin. How it works is not entirely clear but believed to involve blocking the action of thymidylate synthase and thus stopping the production of DNA. It is on the World Health Organization's List of Essential Medicines, the most effective and safe medicines needed in a health system. The wholesale cost in the developing world is about 1.18 to 3.40 USD per 500 mg vial. In the United Kingdom this amount costs the NHS about 6.40 pounds.

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    Other names

    5-Fluoro-2,4(1H,3H)-pyrimidinedione (IUPAC Name); 5-fluoropyrimidine-2,4(1H,3H)-dione; 5-Fluorouracil