What is this medication?

CAPECITABINE (ka pe SITE a been) is a chemotherapy drug. It treats certain types of cancer like breast cancer, colon cancer, and 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 care team before I take this medication?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:

How should I use this medication?

Take this medicine by mouth with water. Take it as directed on the prescription label. Do not cut, crush or chew this medicine. Swallow the tablets whole. Take it with food within 30 minutes after finishing a meal. Keep taking it unless your health care provider tells you to stop.

This medicine is taken in "cycles". There will be days you do not take it. Talk to your health care provider if you have questions about when to take your medicine. It is very important to follow the exact schedule. Taking it more often than directed can cause serious side effects.

Handling this medicine may be harmful. Wear gloves while touching the medicine or bottle. Talk to your health care provider about how to handle this medicine. Special instructions may apply.

Talk to your health care provider about the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.

Patients over 65 years of age may have a stronger reaction.

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, skip it. Take your next dose at the normal time. Do not take extra or 2 doses at the same time to make up for the missed dose.

What may interact with this medication?

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 medication?

This medicine 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 health care provider tells you to stop.

You may need blood work while you are taking this medicine.

This medicine may increase your risk of getting an infection. Call your health care provider for advice if you get a fever, chills, sore throat, or other symptoms of a cold or flu. Do not treat yourself. 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 medicines that contain aspirin, acetaminophen, ibuprofen, naproxen, or ketoprofen unless instructed by your health care provider. 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 health care provider if they wish to become pregnant or think they might be pregnant. Men should not father a child while taking this medicine and for 3 months after stopping it. There is potential for serious harm to an unborn child. Talk to your health care provider for more information. Do not breast-feed an infant while taking this medicine or for 2 weeks after stopping it.

This medicine may make it more difficult to get pregnant or father a child. Talk to your health care provider if you are concerned about your fertility.

Check with your health care provider if you have severe diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting, or if you sweat a lot. The loss of too much body fluid may make it dangerous for you to take this medicine.

This medicine may cause serious skin reactions. They can happen weeks to months after starting the medicine. Contact your health care provider right away if you notice fevers or flu-like symptoms with a rash. The rash may be red or purple and then turn into blisters or peeling of the skin. Or, you might notice a red rash with swelling of the face, lips or lymph nodes in your neck or under your arms.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medication?

Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

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 medication?

Keep out of the reach of children and pets.

Store at room temperature between 20 and 25 degrees C (68 and 77 degrees F). Keep the container tightly closed. Get rid of any unused medicine after the expiration date.

To get rid of medicines that are no longer needed or have expired:

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.

Copyright ©2022 Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved. Terms of Use.

Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy