Capecitabine is the generic name for the trade name drug Xeloda. In some cases, health care professionals may use the trade name Xeloda when referring to the generic drug name capecitabine.
Capecitabine is an anti-cancer (“antineoplastic” or “cytotoxic”) chemotherapy drug. Capecitabine is classified as an “antimetabolite.” (For more detail, see “How Capecitabine Works” section below).
What Capecitabine Is Used For:
- Colon or rectal cancer
- Metastatic breast cancer
- Esophageal, gastric, hepatobiliary, neuroendocrine, pancreatic, ovarian, fallopian tube, peritoneal or unknown primary cancers (off-label use)
Note: If a drug has been approved for one use, physicians may elect to use this same drug for other problems if they believe it may be helpful.
How Capecitabine Is Given:
- Taken as a pill by mouth.
- Take after food (within 30 minutes of a meal) with water. (Usually taken in a divided dose 12 hours apart).
- Tablets come in 2 sizes; 150mg and 500mg.
- Do not crush, chew or dissolve tablets.
- If you miss a dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time. Do not take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.
The amount of capecitabine that you will receive depends on many factors, including your height and weight, your general health or other health problems, and the type of cancer or condition being treated. Your doctor will determine your dose and schedule.
Important things to remember about the side effects of capecitabine:
- Most people will not experience all of the capecitabine side effects listed.
- Capecitabine side effects are often predictable in terms of their onset, duration, and severity.
- Capecitabine side effects will improve after therapy is complete.
- Capecitabine side effects may be quite manageable. There are many options to minimize or prevent the side effects of capecitabine.
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