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.
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. 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.
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.
signs of infection - fever or chills, cough, sore throat, pain or difficulty passing urine
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
changes in vision
diarrhea of more than 4 bowel movements in one day or any diarrhea at night
nausea and vomiting
pain, swelling, redness at site where injected
pain, tingling, numbness in the hands or feet
redness, swelling, or sores on hands or feet
yellow color of skin or eyes
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):
dry or itchy skin
loss of appetite
weak or tired
What may interact with this medicine?
antacids with aluminum and/or magnesium
medicines to increase blood counts like filgrastim, pegfilgrastim, sargramostim
Talk to your doctor or health care professional before taking any of these medicines:
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.
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.
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 or blood disorders
dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase (DPD) deficiency
infection (especially a virus infection such as chickenpox, cold sores, or herpes)
an unusual or allergic reaction to capecitabine, 5-fluorouracil, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
pregnant or trying to get pregnant
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. 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.
Men are advised not to father a child while taking this medicine.