Use of uridine triacetate as an emergency treatment for life-threatening capecitabine and 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) toxicity may be safe and effective, according to a study published in Cancer.1

Researchers led by by Wen Wee Ma, MD, of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, examined data from 2 open-label clinical studies of 142 patients who presented with a 5-FU/capecitabine overdose or early onset of severe toxicities, and who were treated with uridine triacetate within 96 hours.

Among the observed patients, 137 had survived and experienced rapid reversal of severe acute cardiotoxicity and neurotoxicity. Patients were prevented from experiencing mucositis and leukopenia with the treatment, or had recovered from them.

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In contrast, 21 of 25 patients who were examined in a historical cohort of patients who were treated only with supportive care had died.

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Among 141 patients who had a diagnosis of cancer, 53 resumed chemotherapy after fewer than 30 days, indicating a rapid recovery from toxicity. Adverse reactions from treatment included vomiting, nausea, and diarrhea.


  1. Ma WW, Saif MW, El-Rayes BF, et al. Emergency use of uridine triacetate for the prevention and treatment of life-threatening 5-fluorouracil and capecitabine toxicity. Cancer. 2016 Sep 13. doi: 10.1002/cncr.30321 [Epub ahead of print]