Used for Cancer

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Updated on 24 Apr 2024

capecitabine Uses, Side Effects, Interactions, Warnings & Dosing

What dosages is capecitabine available in?

What dosages is capecitabine available in?

capecitabine is available as a 150 mg and 500 mg oral tablet.

What is capecitabine used for?

What is capecitabine used for?

capecitabine is an antimetabolite and is used for the following:
Colon cancer:

  • After the tumor has been surgically removed
    Advanced or metastatic colon cancer

Rectal cancer:

  • Together with radiation before or after surgery
  • Advanced or metastatic rectal cancer
  • Metastatic breast cancer
  • Metastatic gastric, esophageal, or gastroesophageal junction (EGJ) cancer
  • Pancreatic cancer, after the tumor has been surgically removed
How does capecitabine work?

How does capecitabine work?

capecitabine is an antimetabolite chemotherapy. Once it gets inside the body, capecitabine is converted into fluorouracil, which is the active form of this medication. It prevents cells from making the genetic material needed to grow and multiply. Because cancer cells tend to grow much faster than healthy cells, fluorouracil ends up affecting cancer cells more. As a result, cancer cells can’t grow and spread as well.

How do I take capecitabine?

How do I take capecitabine?

capecitabine dose is based on your body surface area (BSA), which takes into account your height and weight. The dose and duration of therapy also depends on what type of cancer you’re being treated for, and what other anticancer medications or treatments (e.g., radiation) you’re receiving.

  • The typical dose ranges between 625 mg/m2 – 1250 mg/m2 by mouth twice a day
  • If you’re receiving radiation, you’ll usually take capecitabine during radiation treatment, which can last several weeks
  • If you’re not receiving radiation, capecitabine is commonly taken for 2 weeks out of every 3-week treatment cycle
Is it safe for me to take capecitabine?

Is it safe for me to take capecitabine?

capecitabine is a safe and effective treatment when used for FDA licensed indications. However, like all medications, they may give you unwanted side effects. You should always discuss potential side effects with your physician to ensure the medication is suitable and right for you.

capecitabine Common Side Effects

capecitabine Common Side Effects

Common side effects of capecitabine:

  • Hand-and-foot syndrome
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue or tiredness
  • Stomach pain
  • Vomiting
  • Open mouth sores
capecitabine Serious Side Effects

capecitabine Serious Side Effects

Serious side effects are rare with capecitabine. Contact your healthcare provider immediately if you experience any of the following.

  • Severe diarrhea or blood in your stool
  • Severe skin reactions: rash, blisters, peeling skin, painful swelling
  • Heart problems: heart attack, chest pain, abnormal heart rhythm
Effects of other drugs, drug classes and over-the-counter products on capecitabine

Effects of other drugs, drug classes and over-the-counter products on capecitabine

The following medications may interact with capecitabine:

  • Anticoagulants: Monitor anticoagulant response (INR or prothrombin time) frequently in order to adjust the anticoagulant dose as needed
  • Phenytoin: Monitor phenytoin levels in patients taking capecitabine concomitantly with phenytoin. The phenytoin dose may need to be reduced
  • Leucovorin: The concentration of 5-fluorouracil is increased and its toxicity may be enhanced by leucovorin
  • CYP2C9 substrates: Care should be exercised when capecitabine is coadministered with CYP2C9 substrates
  • Food reduced both the rate and extent of absorption of capecitabine
Who makes capecitabine?

Who makes capecitabine?

Various FDA-approved generic manufacturers

Is capecitabine safe in pregnancy?

Is capecitabine safe in pregnancy?

capecitabine may cause harm to your unborn baby. capecitabine should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.


What to do if you missed your capecitabine dose

The FDA's medical product safety reporting program for health professionals, patients and consumers.

Learn more about reporting side effects
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Medical Disclaimer

NowPatient has taken all reasonable steps to ensure that all material is factually accurate, complete, and current. However, the knowledge and experience of a qualified healthcare professional should always be sought after instead of using the information on this page. Before taking any drug, you should always speak to your doctor or another qualified healthcare provider.

The information provided here about medications is subject to change and is not meant to include all uses, precautions, warnings, directions, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or negative effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a particular medication does not imply that the medication or medication combination is appropriate for all patients or for all possible purposes.

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