capecitabine, Xeloda (cont.)

Pharmacy Author:
Medical and Pharmacy Editor:

DOSING: The recommended dose is 1250 mg/m2 twice daily, with the two doses approximately 12 hours apart. Tablets should be taken 30 minutes after eating. Capecitabine usually is prescribed in repeated cycles of 3-weeks, with the drug taken for two consecutive weeks followed by a week without drug. Some patients may need lower or delayed dosing if there are side effects.

DRUG INTERACTIONS: Capecitabine increases the blood thinning effect of warfarin (Coumadin) and may increase the risk of bleeding. Capecitabine also may increase blood levels of phenytoin (Dilantin, Dilantin-125), and the dose of phenytoin may need to be reduced.

PREGNANCY: Capecitabine can damage the fetus. It should not be taken by pregnant women.

NURSING MOTHERS: It is not known whether capecitabine is secreted into breast milk.

SIDE EFFECTS: The most common side effects with capecitabine are diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, painful swelling of the mouth, fatigue, painful rash and swelling of the hands or feet, low white blood cell count (which can lead to infections), low blood platelet counts (which can lead to bleeding), and anemia. Some patients may experience heart attacks, chest pain, and abnormal heart beats.

Reference: FDA Prescribing Information

Last Editorial Review: 3/12/2013

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