Generic Name: capecitabine (KAP e SYE ta been)Brand Names: Xeloda
Capecitabine is a cancer medication that interferes with the growth of cancer cells and slows their spread in the body
Capecitabine is used to treat breast cancer and colon or rectum cancer that has spread to other parts of the body.
Capecitabine may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Before you take capecitabine, tell your doctor if you have liver or kidney disease, a history of coronary artery disease, or if you are also taking folic acid (contained in many vitamin and mineral supplements), leucovorin (Wellcovorin), phenytoin (Dilantin), or a blood thinner (warfarin, Coumadin).
While taking capecitabine, you will need blood tests at your doctor's office on a regular basis. Do not miss any appointments. You must remain under the care of a doctor while you are taking capecitabine.Call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as severe vomiting or diarrhea, fever or flu symptoms, pain or redness of your hands or feet, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes), chest pain, sudden numbness or weakness, or fainting.
a metabolic disorder called DPD (dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase) deficiency.
If you have any of these other conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely use capecitabine:
a history of coronary artery disease; or
if you are also taking folic acid (contained in many vitamin and mineral supplements), leucovorin (Wellcovorin), phenytoin (Dilantin), or a blood thinner (warfarin, Coumadin).
Use birth control to prevent pregnancy while you are taking capecitabine, whether you are a man or a woman. Tell your doctor if a pregnancy occurs during treatment.It is not known whether capecitabine passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while you are taking capecitabine. People over 80 years old may be more likely to have certain side effects from this medication.
Take this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take it in larger amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.
Capecitabine is usually given in a treatment cycle of 2 weeks on and 1 week off. This 3-week cycle is repeated up to 8 times (24 weeks). Your capecitabine dosage may be different. Follow your doctor's instructions.
During the weeks when you take capecitabine, take the medication once in the morning and once in the evening, unless your doctor tells you otherwise. You may also be given other medications as part of a combination cancer treatment.Capecitabine should be taken with food or within 30 minutes after eating a meal. Take this medication with a full glass (8 ounces) of water.
To be sure this medication is not causing harmful effects, your blood may need to be tested on a regular basis. Your kidney and liver function may also need to be tested. Do not miss any follow-up visits. You must remain under the care of a doctor while you are taking capecitabine.Store capecitabine at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Keep the bottle tightly closed when not in use.
See also: Capecitabine dosage in more detail
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to take the medicine and skip the missed dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
Overdose symptoms may include fever, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, blood in your stools, coughing up blood.
Avoid using antacids without your doctor's advice. Use only the specific type of antacid your doctor recommends.
severe diarrhea (more than 4 times per day, or during the night);
vomiting (more than once in 24 hours);
nausea, loss of appetite, eating much less than usual;
weakness, feeling light-headed, hot or dry skin;
pain, tenderness, redness, swelling, blistering, or peeling skin on your hands or feet;
fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms;
swelling, white patches, or sores in your mouth or throat;
jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
chest pain or heavy feeling, pain spreading to the arm or shoulder, nausea, sweating, general ill feeling;
sudden numbness, weakness, headache, confusion, or problems with vision, speech, or balance; or
slow heart rate, weak pulse, fainting, slow breathing (breathing may stop).
Less serious side effects may include:
stomach pain or upset, constipation;
temporary hair loss;
mild skin rash;
altered sense of taste;
back pain, joint or muscle pain;
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Usual Adult Dose for Breast Cancer:
For use in the treatment of patients with metastatic breast cancer resistant to both paclitaxel and an anthracycline-containing chemotherapy regimen or resistant to paclitaxel and for whom further anthracycline therapy is not indicated (e.g., patients who have received cumulative doses of 400 mg/m2 of doxorubicin or doxorubicin equivalents). (Resistance is defined as progressive disease while on treatment, with or without an initial response, or relapse within 6 months of completing treatment with an anthracycline-containing adjuvant regimen.)The recommended dose of capecitabine is 1,250 mg/m2 administered orally twice daily (morning and evening; equivalent to 2,500 mg/m2 total daily dose) for 2 weeks followed by a 1 week rest period given as 3 week cycles. Capecitabine tablets should be swallowed with water within 30 minutes after a meal.Alternatively, a dose of 1,000 mg/m2 administered orally twice daily (morning and evening; equivalent to 2,000 mg/m2 total daily dose) for 2 weeks with 1 week rest may be may be appropriate.
Usual Adult Dose for Colorectal Cancer:
For use as first line treatment of patients with metastatic colorectal carcinoma when treatment with fluoropyrimidine therapy alone is preferred:Recommended dose: 1,250 mg/m2 administered orally twice daily (morning and evening; equivalent to 2,500 mg/m2 total daily dose) for 2 weeks followed by a 1 week rest period given as 3 week cycles. Capecitabine tablets should be swallowed with water within 30 minutes after a meal.Alternate dose: 1,000 mg/m2 administered orally twice daily (morning and evening; equivalent to 2,000 mg/m2 total daily dose) for 2 weeks with 1 week rest may be may be appropriate.For use as adjuvant treatment in patients with Dukes' C colon cancer:Recommended dose: 1,250 mg/m2 administered orally twice daily (morning and evening; equivalent to 2,500 mg/m2 total daily dose) for 2 weeks followed by a 1 week rest period given as 3 week cycles for a total of 8 cycles (24 weeks). Capecitabine tablets should be swallowed with water within 30 minutes after a meal.
Tell your doctor about all other medications you use, especially:
montelukast (Singulair) or zafirlukast (Accolate);
rifampin (Rifater, Rifadin, Rifamate);
selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam, Zelapar);
cancer medication such as paclitaxel (Taxol) or tamoxifen (Soltamox);
heart or blood pressure medications such as amiodarone (Cordarone, Pacerone), carvedilol (Coreg), losartan (Hyzaar, Cozaar), or torsemide (Demadex);
type 2 diabetes medications such as glimepiride (Amaryl), glipizide (Glucotrol), nateglinide (Starlix), pioglitazone (Actos, Actoplus Met), repaglinide (Prandin), rosiglitazone (Avandia, Avandamet), or tolbutamide (Orinase); or
sulfa drugs (Bactrim, Gantanol, Gantrisin, Septra, SMX-TMP, and others).
This list is not complete and there may be other drugs that can interact with capecitabine. Tell your doctor about all your prescription and over-the-counter medications, vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.