What is this medicine?
CAPECITABINE (ka pe SITE a been) is a chemotherapy drug. It slows the growth of cancer cells. This medicine is used to treat breast cancer, and also colon or rectal cancer.
This medicine may be used for other purposes; ask your health care provider or pharmacist if you have questions.
COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Xeloda
What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
- bleeding disorders
- dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase (DPD) deficiency
- heart disease
- infection (especially a virus infection such as chickenpox, cold sores, or herpes)
- kidney disease
- liver disease
- low blood counts, like low white cell, platelet, or red cell counts
- an unusual or allergic reaction to capecitabine, fluorouracil, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
- pregnant or trying to get pregnant
How should I use this medicine?
Take this medicine by mouth with a glass of water, within 30 minutes of the end of a meal. Do not cut, crush or chew this medicine. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Take your medicine at regular intervals. Do not take it more often than directed. Do not stop taking except on your doctor's advice.
Your doctor may want you to take a combination of 150 mg and 500 mg tablets for each dose. It is very important that you know how to correctly take your dose. Taking the wrong tablets could result in an overdose (too much medication) or underdose (too little medication).
Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.
Overdosage: If you think you have taken too much of this medicine contact a poison control center or emergency room at once.
NOTE: This medicine is only for you. Do not share this medicine with others.
What if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose, do not take the missed dose at all. Do not take double or extra doses. Instead, continue with your next scheduled dose and check with your doctor.
What may interact with this medicine?
This medicine may interact with the following medications:
This list may not describe all possible interactions. Give your health care provider a list of all the medicines, herbs, non-prescription drugs, or dietary supplements you use. Also tell them if you smoke, drink alcohol, or use illegal drugs. Some items may interact with your medicine.
What should I watch for while using this medicine?
Visit your doctor for checks on your progress. This drug may make you feel generally unwell. This is not uncommon, as chemotherapy can affect healthy cells as well as cancer cells. Report any side effects. Continue your course of treatment even though you feel ill unless your doctor tells you to stop.
In some cases, you may be given additional medicines to help with side effects. Follow all directions for their use.
Call your doctor or health care professional for advice if you get a fever, chills or sore throat, or other symptoms of a cold or flu. Do not treat yourself. This drug decreases your body's ability to fight infections. Try to avoid being around people who are sick.
This medicine may increase your risk to bruise or bleed. Call your doctor or health care professional if you notice any unusual bleeding.
Be careful brushing and flossing your teeth or using a toothpick because you may get an infection or bleed more easily. If you have any dental work done, tell your dentist you are receiving this medicine.
Avoid taking products that contain aspirin, acetaminophen, ibuprofen, naproxen, or ketoprofen unless instructed by your doctor. These medicines may hide a fever.
Do not become pregnant while taking this medicine or for 6 months after stopping it. Women should inform their doctor if they wish to become pregnant or think they might be pregnant. There is a potential for serious side effects to an unborn child. Talk to your health care professional or pharmacist for more information. Do not breast-feed an infant while taking this medicine or for 2 weeks after stopping it.
Men are advised not to father a child while taking this medicine or for 3 months after stopping it.
This medicine may make it more difficult to get pregnant or father a child. Talk with your doctor or health care professional if you are concerned about your fertility.
What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?
Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
- allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue
- low blood counts - this medicine may decrease the number of white blood cells, red blood cells and platelets. You may be at increased risk for infections and bleeding
- nausea, vomiting
- redness, blistering, peeling or loosening of the skin, including inside the mouth (this can be added for any serious or exfoliative rash that could lead to hospitalization)
- redness, swelling, or sores on hands or feet
- signs and symptoms of kidney injury like trouble passing urine or change in the amount of urine
- signs and symptoms of liver injury like dark yellow or brown urine; general ill feeling or flu-like symptoms; light-colored stools; loss of appetite; nausea; right upper belly pain; unusually weak or tired; yellowing of the eyes or skin
- signs of decreased platelets or bleeding - bruising, pinpoint red spots on the skin, black, tarry stools, blood in the urine
- signs of decreased red blood cells - unusually weak or tired, fainting spells, lightheadedness
- signs of infection - fever or chills, cough, sore throat, pain or difficulty passing urine
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):
- changes in vision
- loss of appetite
- mouth sores
- pain, tingling, numbness in the hands or feet
This list may not describe all possible side effects. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Where should I keep my medicine?
Keep out of the reach of children.
Store at room temperature between 15 and 30 degrees C (59 and 86 degrees F). Keep container tightly closed. Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.
NOTE: This sheet is a summary. It may not cover all possible information. If you have questions about this medicine, talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider.
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