What UFT is and What it is used for?
- UFT is classified as anticancer antimetabolites. UFT is made up of two drugs that are combined together: tegafur and uracil. This medicine inhibits thymidylate synthase that is essential for the formation of DNA and RNA. This stops the growth of cancer cells, causing the cancer cells to die.
- UFT can be given alone or in combination with other cancer medicines to treat colon or rectal cancer, breast cancer, stomach cancer, lung cancer, and head and neck cancer. UFT also may be used to treat other cancers, as determined by your doctor.
How to take UFT?
- UFT is given as capsules. The pharmacist will give you the capsules to take home with you. Take your drugs exactly as you are instructed. UFT should be taken whole with a glass of water on an empty stomach. Take at least one hour before or after a meal.
- Do not open, crush, break or chew the capsules. If you have difficulty swallowing capsules, tell your doctor.
What should I know while receiving UFT?
- Tips for proper medicine storage
- Keep capsules in their original packaging at room temperature, away from heat or direct sunlight.
- Keep capsules safe and out of the reach of children.
- Return any unused capsules to the hospital if your treatment is stopped.
- If you forget to take the medicine, skip the missed dose but continue with the following dose. Do not take a double dose. Keep to your regular schedule and let your doctor know.
- Do not receive this drug when you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
- Men and women should use effective contraception during treatment and for at least 3 months after the treatment ends.
- UFT may affect fertility. You can talk to your doctor about methods of preserving fertility before treatment starts.
- Do not receive any kind of vaccination without doctor's approval.
- You will have regular blood tests to check that you have enough blood cells and have sufficient liver and kidney functions to receive UFT. The dose of UFT may be changed based on the test results or other side effects.
- Tell your doctor before you take UFT if you have or have had kidney or liver problems.
Possible side effects
- Low white blood cell count
You may have a higher risk of getting infections. Try to stay away from crowds and wash hands often. Tell your doctor right away if you have repeated fevers, coughing, stuffy nose, a painful urination or wound that becomes red and swollen.
- Low red blood cell count
You may look pale and get tired more easily. Let your doctor know if you experience any difficulty breathing or dizziness when changing positions.
- Low platelet count
You may have a higher risk of bleeding. Let your doctor know if you find red or purple dots on the skin, bleeding from the nose or gums, or any bruising or bleeding that you cannot explain.
- Nausea and vomiting
Medicines may be given before the treatment to help stop it happening. Eating and drinking often in small amounts may help lessen these symptoms.
Talk to your doctor and ask for advice. Drinking plenty of water and dietary changes can improve diarrhea.
- Mouth sore
Your doctor may give you medicines that help you feel better. Good mouth care will help prevent mouth sores.
- Fatigue and weakness
Speak to your doctor if you are feeling very tired. They can help you to manage it and might give you treatment.
- Loss of appetite
Try to eat in small quantities and have frequent meals. If your appetite does not get any better after a few days, tell your doctor.
- Skin problems
Symptoms include dryness, itching, and rash. Tell your doctor about any skin changes that you have. Your doctor can give you medicines and advices that help you feel better.
- Changes in liver function
This is usually mild and unlikely to cause symptoms. The functions may return to normal after treatment ends. Seek medical help if you have yellowing of the skin or eyes, dark or brown urine, or pain in abdomen, as these can be signs of liver toxicity.
- Many drugs may interact with UFT. Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
- Alcohol and cigarettes may interfere with certain medicines or worsen side effects from chemotherapy treatment. It is wise to avoid alcohol and cigarette smoking during cancer treatment. If you have any problem about drinking alcohol and smoking, you should check with your doctor.
- Drink 6 to 8 glasses of water every day can help make your recovery a smoother process.