12th, September 2022

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Capecitabine

Capecitabine is a cancer treatment that is used to treat breast, colon, and rectal cancer. It works by slowing or stopping cancer cell growth.

Use of Capecitabine

Before you begin taking capecitabine, and each time you get a refill, read the Patient Information Leaflet if it is available from your pharmacist. If you have any concerns, consult your doctor or pharmacist.

Take this medication by mouth, usually twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening, as directed by your doctor. Within 30 minutes of eating, swallow the tablets whole with a full glass of water (8 ounces/240 millilitres). The tablets should not be crushed or split. If you are having difficulty swallowing the tablets whole, consult your doctor. During a treatment cycle, your doctor may instruct you to take this medication. Follow your doctor’s instructions exactly.

The dosage is determined by your medical condition, body size, and treatment response. Do not increase your dose or use this medication more frequently or for a longer period of time than prescribed. Your condition will not improve faster, and your chances of experiencing side effects will increase.

Women who are pregnant or may become pregnant should not handle this medication or breathe the dust from the tablets because it can be absorbed through the skin and lungs and may harm an unborn baby.

Side Effects of Capecitabine

Nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, constipation, tiredness, weakness, headache, dizziness, difficulty sleeping, or changes in taste are all possible side effects. Vomiting and nausea can be severe. Your doctor may prescribe medication to prevent or relieve nausea and vomiting in some cases. Eating several small meals, not eating before treatment, or restricting activity may help mitigate some of these side effects. Inform your doctor or pharmacist right away if any of these effects persist or worsen.

This medication frequently causes diarrhoea. Unless otherwise directed, drink plenty of fluids. To help alleviate diarrhoea, your doctor may also prescribe medication (such as loperamide). Dehydration can occur if vomiting or diarrhoea does not stop. If you notice any signs of dehydration, such as unusual decreased urination, unusual dry mouth/thirst, or dizziness/lightheadedness, call your doctor right away.

This medication frequently causes diarrhoea. Unless otherwise directed, drink plenty of fluids. To help alleviate diarrhoea, your doctor may also prescribe medication (such as loperamide). Dehydration can occur if vomiting or diarrhoea does not stop. If you notice any signs of dehydration, such as unusual decreased urination, unusual dry mouth/thirst, or dizziness/lightheadedness, call your doctor right away.

Stop taking capecitabine immediately and notify your doctor if any of the following very serious side effects occur: severe nausea/vomiting (vomiting 2 or more times per day, inability to eat or keep food/fluids in your stomach), painful redness/swelling/sores in your mouth or on your tongue.

Precautions

Before taking capecitabine, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it, 5-fluorouracil, or any other medications. Inactive ingredients in this product may cause allergic reactions or other problems. For more information, consult your pharmacist.

Tell your doctor or pharmacist about your medical history, especially if you have: a lack of a specific enzyme (dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase – DPD), blood disorders (such as bone marrow suppression), heart problems (such as heart failure), kidney disease, or liver problems.

Capecitabine may increase your susceptibility to infections or worsen existing infections. Avoid contact with anyone who has an infection that could spread to others (such as chickenpox, measles, or flu). If you have been exposed to an infection or want more information, see your doctor.

Before receiving any immunizations or vaccinations, inform your doctor that you are taking capecitabine. Contact with people who have recently received live vaccines should be avoided (such as flu vaccine inhaled through the nose).

To reduce the possibility of being cut, bruised, or injured, avoid activities such as contact sports and use caution with sharp objects such as razors and nail cutters.

Interactions

Also see the Warning section.

Drug interactions can alter the way your medications work or put you at risk for serious side effects. This document does not include every possible drug interaction. Maintain a list of all the products you use (including prescription and nonprescription drugs, as well as herbal remedies) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medications without first consulting your doctor.

Allopurinol is a product that may interact with this medication.

Capecitabine is a drug that is very similar to fluorouracil. While taking capecitabine, avoid taking any fluorouracil-containing medications.

Notes

Do not give this medication to anyone else.

While taking this medication, you should have a lab and/or medical tests (such as bilirubin, complete blood counts, and kidney/liver function) performed. Maintain all medical and laboratory appointments.

Missed Dose

If you forget to take a dose, skip it. Take your next dose as usual and consult with your doctor. To catch up, do not double the dose.

Storage

Store at room temperature in a tightly closed container away from light and moisture. Keep out of the bathroom. Keep all medications out of the reach of children and pets.

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