capecitabine - oral, Xeloda (cont.)
USES: Capecitabine is used alone or with other treatments/medications to treat certain types of cancer (e.g., of the breast, colon, rectum). It works by slowing or stopping cancer cell growth and by decreasing tumor size.
HOW TO USE: Read the Patient Information Leaflet provided by your pharmacist before you start taking capecitabine and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions regarding the information, consult your doctor or pharmacist.Take this medication by mouth, usually twice daily in the morning and evening or as directed by your doctor. It is best to take this with a full glass of water (8 ounces or 240 milliliters) within 30 minutes after the end of a meal. Capecitabine is usually taken every day for 2 weeks, then stopped for 1 week. This course of treatment may be repeated as directed by your doctor.If you take any antacid products that contain aluminum or magnesium, take capecitabine 2 hours before or after taking any antacids because these products may change the way your body absorbs capecitabine.The dosage is based on your medical condition, body size, and response to therapy. You may be taking a combination of different tablet sizes. Pay close attention to your dose and tablet sizes to avoid over- or under-dosing.Do not increase your dose or take this medication more often than directed without your doctor's approval. Your condition will not improve any faster, and the risk of serious side effects may increase.Since this drug can be absorbed through the skin, women who are pregnant or who may become pregnant should not handle this medication.
SIDE EFFECTS: Nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, constipation, tiredness, weakness, back/joint/muscle pain, headache, dizziness, trouble sleeping, skin darkening, or dry/itchy skin may occur. Nausea and vomiting can be severe. Changes in diet and lifestyle, such as eating several small meals or limiting activity, may lessen some of these effects. If any of these effects continue or worsen, notify your doctor.Temporary hair loss may occur. Normal hair growth should return after treatment has ended. Temporary nail changes may occur, which may rarely include fungal infections in the nail beds.Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.Diarrhea is a common side effect of this medication. It may become very severe (possibly fatal). To decrease this side effect, your doctor may prescribe medication (e.g., loperamide) to control your symptoms, replace lost fluids by vein, or stop treatment with capecitabine. Drink plenty of fluids to prevent serious problems due to a loss of too much body water (dehydration). If you experience signs of severe diarrhea (e.g., 4 or more stools per day, diarrhea at night, bloody stools), or if you experience signs of dehydration (e.g., dizziness, decreased amount of urine), stop taking this drug and tell your doctor immediately.Stop taking capecitabine and tell your doctor immediately if you have any of these serious side effects: 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 mouth or throat.If any of the above symptoms occur, your doctor may lower your dose when you start taking capecitabine again or may stop treatment with this drug.Treatment with capecitabine may sometimes cause your hands/feet to develop a skin reaction called hand-foot syndrome (palmar-plantar erythrodysesthesia). You can prevent or reduce these problems by protecting your hands and feet from a great deal of heat or pressure. Avoid unnecessary exposure to heat (e.g., hot dishwater, long hot baths). Avoid pressure on elbows, knees, and soles of feet (e.g., leaning on elbows, kneeling, long walks). Wear loose clothing. Depending on how severe your hand-foot syndrome is, your doctor may prescribe a medication to reduce the symptoms or decrease/delay your next dose of capecitabine. If you experience pain/swelling/redness, blisters, or numbness of the hands/feet that affects your usual activities, stop taking this medication and tell your doctor immediately.This medication can lower your ability to fight an infection. Stop taking this medication and call your doctor promptly if you develop any signs of an infection such as high fever, chills, or persistent sore throat.Tell your doctor immediately if you have any of these unlikely but serious side effects: abdominal/stomach pain, unusual bruising or bleeding, extreme tiredness, mental/mood changes (e.g., depression), swelling of the ankles/feet, vision changes, shortness of breath, change in the amount of urine, dark urine, yellowing of the eyes/skin, fast/irregular heartbeat.Seek immediate medical attention if any of these rare but very serious side effects occur: chest pain, fainting, jaw/left arm pain.A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is unlikely, but seek immediate medical attention if it occurs. Symptoms of a serious allergic reaction may include: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other side effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.In the US -Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
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