In a study population of black Africans with advanced glaucoma in Ghana we conducted a prospective study of intraoperative 5-fluorouracil alone. Eyes undergoing trabeculectomy were randomly selected either to receive or not receive a single intraoperative application of 5-fluorouracil (50 mg/ml for five minutes). Fifty-five eyes had a mean follow-up of 282 days (minimum, 92 days). Twenty of 24 eyes (83%) in the 5-fluorouracil group vs 12 of 31 eyes (39%) in the control group had postoperative intraocular pressure of 20 mm Hg or less with or without medical therapy (P = .01). Eleven of 24 eyes (46%) in the 5-fluorouracil group and five of 31 eyes (16%) in the control group had intraocular pressure of 15 mm Hg or less (P = .02). Without medical therapy, 17 of 24 eyes (71%) in the 5-fluorouracil group and ten of 31 eyes (32%) in the control group had intraocular pressure of 20 mm Hg or less (P = .02). The overall complications were similar in the two groups. In this population, intraoperative 5-fluorouracil markedly improved the ability of trabeculectomy to lower intraocular pressure. We recommend that intraoperative 5-fluorouracil be considered in glaucoma surgery with poor prognosis as an alternative to postoperative subconjunctival injections when multiple injections are not feasible.