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Capecitabine oral
CAPECITABINE - ORAL

Important Note

The following information is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of your physician, pharmacist or other healthcare professional. It should not be construed to indicate that use of the drug is safe, appropriate, or effective for you. Consult your healthcare professional before using this drug.

CAPECITABINE - ORAL

(cap-eh-SIT-uh-bean)

COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Xeloda

WARNING: Capecitabine may interact with "blood thinners" (anticoagulants such as warfarin or phenprocoumon) and cause serious bleeding episodes; rarely, deaths have occurred. This increased bleeding risk (increased INR/PT) in some cases has occurred within one month of stopping capecitabine, as well as during treatment. If you are using warfarin, your laboratory tests (INR) will be closely monitored, and you should immediately report any signs of bleeding or bruising, including black stools.

Uses

Capecitabine is used to treat cancer (e.g., breast or colorectal). Capecitabine kills cancer cells and shrinks tumors by blocking the process by which the cells divide and are formed (DNA/RNA synthesis).

How To Use

Take this medication by mouth usually twice daily with food as directed by your doctor. It is best taken at the end of a meal with a full glass of water. Capecitabine is taken every day for 2 weeks followed by one week without taking this medication. This course of treatment may then be repeated as directed by your doctor. The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to therapy. Your dosage may need to be adjusted using a different number of tablets and tablet strengths. Pay close attention to your dosage.

Side Effects

Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, constipation, weakness, body aches, headache, dizziness, trouble sleeping, or dry, red, itchy skin may occur. If these effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor. Stop taking capecitabine and tell your doctor immediately if you have any of these serious side effects: severe vomiting (2 or more times per day), severe diarrhea (4 or more times per day), persistent sore throat or fever, unusual bruising or bleeding, pain/swelling/redness or numbness of the hands and feet, sores in mouth. Tell your doctor immediately if you have any of these unlikely but serious side effects: yellowing of the eyes or skin, dark urine, stomach pain, chest pain, trouble breathing. If you notice other side effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

Precautions

This medication should not be used if you have certain medical conditions. Before using this medicine, consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have: severe kidney disease, a certain enzyme deficiency (dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase deficiency). Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: heart-related problems, liver problems, blood disorders (e.g., bone marrow suppression), kidney disease, allergies (especially to fluorouracil; 5-FU). This medication can lower your body's ability to fight infection. Avoid touching your eyes or inside your nose without first washing your hands. Do not have immunizations/vaccinations without the consent of your doctor and avoid contact with people who have recently received oral polio vaccine. Use caution with sharp objects like safety razors or nail cutters and avoid activities such as contact sports in order to lower the chances of getting cut, bruised or injured. Caution is advised when this drug is used in the elderly, as they may be more sensitive to the side effects of this medication. This drug is not recommended for use during pregnancy. Consult your doctor before using this drug. It is not known if this drug passes into breast milk. Because of the potential risk to the infant, breast-feeding while using this drug is not recommended. Consult your doctor before breast- feeding.

Drug Interactions

Tell your doctor of all prescription and nonprescription drugs you use, especially of: leucovorin, "blood thinners" (e.g., warfarin), folic acid, vitamins containing folic acid, other anti-cancer drugs, phenytoin, fosphenytoin. Do not start or stop any medicine without doctor or pharmacist approval.

Overdose

If overdose is suspected, contact your local poison control center or emergency room immediately. Symptoms of overdose may include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach irritation and bleeding.

Notes

Do not share this medication with others. Laboratory and/or medical tests (e.g., kidney function) will be performed to monitor your progress.

Missed Dose

If you miss a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist to establish a new dosing schedule.

Storage

Store at room temperature at 77 degrees F (25 degrees C) in a tightly closed container. Brief storage between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 - 30 degrees C) is permitted. Keep away from light and moisture.

Medical Alert

Your condition can cause complications in a medical emergency. For enrollment information call MedicAlert at 1-800-854-1166 (USA), or 1-800-668-1507 (Canada).