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Last updated on: October 25, 2021

CAPECITABINE (kape- SIGH-ta-been)

Other Names for this Medication (Brand Name) – Xeloda


Tablets: Small, light peach, oblong tablet containing 150 mg of Capecitabine Larger, peach, oblong tablet containing 500 mg of Capecitabine

CAPECITABINEWhy this Medication is Used

Capecitabine is used to treat breast and colorectal cancer. It may also be used in other types of cancer.

How do you take this Medication: Capecitabine is taken by mouth, twice daily for 14 days, followed by a 1 week (7 day) rest period. Your dose may be a combination of 150 mg and 500 mg tablets. Tablets should be taken after a meal (breakfast and supper) with a full glass of water.

If you miss a dose of this medicine, do not take the missed dose at all and do not double the next one. Instead, go back to your regular dosing schedule and check with your doctor.


Capecitabine may interact with other medications (such as warfarin and phenytoin). Make sure your doctor and pharmacist have a complete list of the medications (including herbal and over-the-counter medication) that you are taking.

Capecitabine may make you more sensitive to sunlight. Use a sunscreen with SPF of at least 15. Wear a hat and cover exposed skin while you are receiving this medication.

Store away from heat, light, and moisture.

Keep out of reach of children.

This chemotherapy should not be used if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. It is important to discuss birth control with your doctor. If you are a male taking this medication, birth control should also be used by female partners. NOTE: If you are taking this medication for breast cancer, a reliable barrier form of contraception (e.g. spermicidal jelly and condom or diaphragm) should be used. Birth control pills are not recommended.

It is important to tell your doctor if you have chickenpox (or have recently been exposed to someone who has had chickenpox), shingles, kidney disease or liver disease. Any of these conditions could affect therapy with this medication.

Due to increased risk of infection check with your doctor before having any vaccinations. Check with your doctor, before any surgery or dental work.

Do not take ASA without your doctor’s knowledge and consent.

> If a doctor has advised you to take ASA to prevent heart disease or stroke, please discuss this with your oncologist (cancer doctor) before starting treatment.

> Do not use ASA (aspirin, acetylsalicylic acid) for headache, fever, or occasional aches and pains; use acetaminophen (Tylenol) instead. Many non-prescription medications contain ASA; always ask your pharmacist’s advice when choosing a product.

For more information on this medication, please call your doctor, pharmacist or nurse.

  • Thin, reddened skin on the hands or feet
  • Pain or discomfort in the hands or feet
  • Prickly/tingly feeling or numbness in the hands or feet
  • Heartburn
  • Diarrhea
  • Sores in the mouth or the lips
  • Rest often, keeping off your feet
  • Wear loose footwear
  • Use a moisturizing cream on your hands (like A&D Ointment)
  • Take medications with food
  • Limit hot, spicy, and fried foods; limit foods and drinks with caffeine.
  • Maintain good mouth hygiene. Brush teeth often with a soft toothbrush. Avoid hot, spicy and acidic foods.
  • STOP taking Capecitabine if you have any pain or if your symptoms are interfering with your regular activities. Call your doctor or nurse for further instructions.
  • Contact your doctor if this become troublesome
  • Drink plenty of clear fluids. STOP taking capcitabine if you have an extra 4 or more stools per day or any diarrhea at night. Call your doctor or nurse for further instructions.
  • STOP taking capecitabine if you have painful mouth sores or any pain or swelling of the mouth. Phone you doctor or nurse for further instructions.
  • Fever, chills and cough
  • Low white blood cells
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Limit contact with people who are sick or have colds. Rest often. Wash your hands often.
  • Continue drinking clear fluids. Get fresh air and rest.
  • Keep a thermometer at home. Recognize signs of infection.Phone your doctor right away, or go to the hospital emergency department (if after hours) if your temperature is over 38° C or 100° F.
  • Phone your doctor if vomiting lasts more than 24 hours or nausea longer than 48 hours.
  • Tiredness or weakness
  • Bruising or bleeding. Black, tarlike stools. Red spots on skin.
  • Rest often. Mild exercise may help
  • Use sharp objects with care. Use a soft toothbrush. Be careful when shaving. Tell your doctor before any dental work.
  • Rest when feeling tired or weak.
  • If bleeding or bruising is unusual or will not stop, phone your doctor immediately or come to the Emergency Department.
  • Chest pain
  • STOP taking Capecitabine and seek medical attention immediately


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