Capecitabine (By mouth)

Introduction

Capecitabine (kap-e-SYE-ta-been)

Treats cancer, including breast and colorectal cancer.

Brand Name(s)

Xeloda

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

How to Use This Medicine

Tablet

  • Medicines used to treat cancer are very strong and can have many side effects. Before receiving this medicine, make sure you understand all the risks and benefits. It is important for you to work closely with your doctor during your treatment.
  • Take your medicine as directed. Your dose may need to be changed several times to find what works best for you.
  • Take this medicine with food or within 30 minutes after you eat.
  • Swallow the tablet whole with water. Do not cut, crush, break, or chew it.
  • Read and follow the patient instructions that come with this medicine. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
  • Missed dose: Take a dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then and take a regular dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.
  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Some medicines can affect how capecitabine works. Tell your doctor if you use a blood thinner (such as phenprocoumon or warfarin), or if you use leucovorin or phenytoin.

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • It is not safe to take this medicine during pregnancy. It could harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant.
  • Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding, or if you have liver or kidney disease, heart disease, or any type of infection.
  • This medicine may cause the following problems:
    • Increased risk of heart attack or other heart problems
    • Kidney failure
    • Serious skin reactions
  • This medicine may make you bleed, bruise, or get infections more easily. Take precautions to prevent illness and injury. Wash your hands often.
  • Your doctor will do lab tests at regular visits to check on the effects of this medicine. Keep all appointments.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Blistering, peeling, red skin rash
  • Chest pain that may spread to your arms, jaw, back, or neck, trouble breathing, nausea, unusual sweating, faintness
  • Diarrhea 4 or more times each day, diarrhea at night, bloody bowel movements, abdominal pain
  • Fast, pounding, or uneven heartbeat
  • Fever of at least 100.5° or other signs of infection, such as chills, cough, sore throat, and body aches
  • Redness, pain, swelling, or blisters on your hands or feet
  • Severe nausea, or vomiting more than 2 times in 24 hours
  • Sores or white patches on your lips, mouth, or throat
  • Swelling in your hands, ankles, or feet, unusual tiredness
  • Unusual bleeding, bruising, or weakness, pale skin
  • Yellow skin or eyes

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Hair loss
  • Loss of appetite, weight loss
  • Mild diarrhea, constipation, nausea, vomiting, or stomach pain

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Version Info

  • Last reviewed on 7/4/2015

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