A healthcare provider may prescribe capecitabine to people who have breast cancer or colorectal cancer. It works by interfering with the cell's DNA and causing certain parts of the cell to not function properly. As a result, cancer cells cannot multiply as rapidly. The medication comes in the form of a tablet that is taken by mouth twice a day. Possible side effects include anemia, diarrhea, and nausea.
What Is Capecitabine?Capecitabine (Xeloda®) is a prescription medication used to treat breast cancer and colorectal cancer (cancer of the colon or rectum). Unlike a number of other chemotherapy medicines that are given intravenously, capecitabine is taken by mouth.
Are There Side Effects?As with any medicine, side effects are possible with capecitabine. However, not everyone who takes the drug will experience problems. In fact, most people tolerate it quite well. If side effects do occur, in most cases, they are minor and either require no treatment or can easily be treated by you or your healthcare provider. Serious side effects are less common.
Common side effects of capecitabine include but are not limited to:
- Anemia (see Chemotherapy and Anemia)
- Hand-and-foot syndrome (redness and tenderness of the palms and soles)
- Diarrhea (see Chemotherapy-Induced Diarrhea)
- Nausea (see Chemotherapy and Nausea)
- Fatigue or weakness (see Chemotherapy and Fatigue).
(Click Side Effects of Capecitabine to learn more, including potentially serious side effects you should report immediately to your healthcare provider.)
You can also read about possible side effects in the following eMedTV articles: