Actikerall is a cutaneous solution used for the treatment of actinic keratosis, a skin condition caused by damage from long-term exposure to sunlight. It is a combination of two medications: 5-Fluorouracil (5-FU) and salicylic acid.
5-FU belongs to the class of medications called antimetabolites, and it works by interfering with the ability of cells to make DNA, which slows the growth and spread of abnormal cells such as those found in actinic keratosis, which is the skin condition that Actikerall is used to treat.
Salicylic acid is a keratolytic agent that helps to remove the dead and damaged skin cells on top of the areas affected by actinic keratosis, making it easier for the 5-FU to penetrate the skin and be more effective in its action. Together, the two active ingredients in Actikerall work to treat actinic keratosis, a pre-cancerous condition of the skin.
Use and Dosage
Actikerall solution comes in a bottle with a brush applicator attached to the cap and it is applied topically to the affected area of the skin using an applicator brush.
To use Actikerall solution, follow these steps:
- Before applying the solution, make sure your skin is clean and dry. You can wash the affected area with soap and water and pat it dry.
- Shake the bottle well to ensure the contents are mixed properly.
- Remove the top of the bottle and wipe off any excess solution from the brush by wiping it on the neck of the bottle.
- Apply a thin layer of the solution directly to the affected area using the brush. Be careful not to apply too much solution.
- Allow the solution to dry before covering the area with clothing or a bandage.
- Wash your hands with soap and water after applying the solution.
- Apply the solution once a day for your treatment, as directed by your doctor.
After applying the solution to the lesion, let the solution dry on the skin, uncovered. A white film will form over the affected area. This improves the absorption of the medication into the lesion and protects the lesion from dirt and debris. Do not cover the treatment area with any type of dressing. Before applying the next dose, peel the film off the lesion to expose it to the next dose of medication. Warm water may also help remove the film.
Common Side Effects of Actikerall (Fluorouracil/Salicylic Acid):
- Dry eyes, eye itching, or increased tearing
- Mild-to-moderate irritation where the solution is applied (skin redness, inflammation, burning, pain, itch)
- Skin discoloration
- Skin peeling
Serious Side Effects of Actikerall (Fluorouracil/Salicylic Acid):
- Severe skin irritation (bleeding, scab, redness, swelling)
- Stomach-flu-like symptoms (diarrhea, nausea, vomiting)
- Symptoms of high blood levels of fluorouracil (stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, unusual bleeding or bruising, black stools)
- Symptoms of high blood levels of salicylic acid (ringing in the ears, breathing fast, hast heartbeat, confusion, tiredness)
Forms and Strength
Actikerall (Fluorouracil/Salicylic Acid) is available in the following forms and strength:
- Allergic reactions: Patients who are allergic to any of the ingredients in Actikerall should not use Actikerall.
- Pregnant or breastfeeding women: Actikerall is not recommended for use by women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, as it may harm the developing fetus or baby.
- Interaction with other medications: Actikerall may interact with other medications, including certain types of blood thinners and immunosuppressive drugs. Patients should inform their healthcare provider of all medications they are taking before using Actikerall.
- Eye contact: Actikerall should not be applied near the eyes, as it can cause irritation and damage to the eye.
- Skin irritation: Actikerall may cause skin irritation, including redness, itching, and burning. Patients should inform their healthcare provider if they experience these symptoms.
- Sun exposure: Patients should avoid sun exposure and use appropriate sun protection during treatment with Actikerall, as the medication can increase sensitivity to sunlight.
- Skin conditions: Actikerall may not be suitable for patients with certain skin conditions, such as eczema or psoriasis, as it can cause further skin irritation.
- Worsening of symptoms: Patients may experience an initial worsening of their actinic keratosis symptoms during treatment with Actikerall. However, this is followed by an improvement in symptoms.
- Age: Actikerall has not been studied in patients under the age of 18 and its use in this population is not recommended.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
How long does it take for Actikerall to work?
The length of treatment with Actikerall varies depending on the severity of the actinic keratosis. Typically, treatment lasts several weeks.
Can Actikerall be used on all types of skin?
Actikerall may not be suitable for use on all types of skin. Patients with certain pre-existing skin conditions or allergies may need to avoid using Actikerall.
How often should Actikerall be applied?
The frequency of Actikerall application may vary depending on the severity of the actinic keratosis and the instructions provided by your healthcare provider.
Can Actikerall be used to prevent actinic keratosis?
No, Actikerall is not indicated for use as a preventive medication. It is only intended for the treatment of existing actinic keratosis lesions.
What should I do if I miss a dose of Actikerall?
If you miss a dose of Actikerall, apply it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule.