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Precautions and Warnings With Capecitabine

An awareness of the precautions and warnings with capecitabine can help ensure a safe, successful treatment process. For example, the medication is likely to cause harm to an unborn fetus when the drug is given to pregnant women. Capecitabine can also cause heart problems or drug interactions. Precautions and warnings with capecitabine also extend to those who are allergic to fluorouracil or any of the ingredients used to make capecitabine, as well as those who have severe kidney disease.

Capecitabine: What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider?

You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking capecitabine (Xeloda®) if you have:
  • Kidney disease, including kidney failure (renal failure)
  • Liver disease, including liver failure or cirrhosis
  • Heart disease
  • Any allergies, including allergies to food, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
  • Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
  • Breastfeeding.
Make sure to tell your healthcare provider about all of the medicines you take, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Specific Precautions and Warnings With Capecitabine

Some warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to taking capecitabine include the following:
  • The liver and kidneys help clear capecitabine from the body. If you have liver or kidney disease, talk with your healthcare provider before taking capecitabine. Depending on the severity of your condition, your healthcare provider may recommend adjusting your capecitabine dosage or not taking capecitabine at all.
  • Let your healthcare provider know if you have severe diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, or mouth sores. Also let your healthcare provider know if you have a fever (or other signs of an infection) or redness and tenderness of the palms of your hands or the soles of your feet.
  • Capecitabine can cause heart problems, including heart attacks and irregular heart rhythms (arrhythmias). These problems appear to be more common in people who already have heart disease.
  • Capecitabine can interact with other medications (see Drug Interactions With Capecitabine).
  • Capecitabine is considered a pregnancy Category D medication. This means that capecitabine is likely to cause harm to a fetus during pregnancy. Talk to your healthcare provider about the risks and benefits of taking the drug during pregnancy (see Xeloda and Pregnancy).
  • It is not known if capecitabine passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to taking the drug (see Xeloda and Breastfeeding).
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Capecitabine (Xeloda)

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