Side Effects of Capecitabine
Anemia, diarrhea, and nausea are some of the most common side effects of capecitabine. However, most people tolerate the drug without problems. Serious side effects of capecitabine are uncommon, but if they occur, they should be reported immediately to your healthcare provider. A few of these side effects can include depression, an increase in tumor size, and signs of an allergic reaction. Some rare side effects of capecitabine can include things such as weight gain, stomach ulcers, and nosebleeds.
An Introduction to Side Effects of CapecitabineAs with any medicine, side effects are possible with capecitabine (Xeloda®). However, not everyone who takes the medication will experience side effects. 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 are easily treated by you or your healthcare provider.
(This article covers many, but not all, of the possible side effects with capecitabine. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list of capecitabine side effects with you.)
Common Side Effects of CapecitabineCapecitabine has been studied thoroughly in clinical trials, in which the side effects of a group of people taking the drug are documented. In these studies, the most common side effects of capecitabine included:
- Anemia -- in up to 80 percent of people (see Chemotherapy and Anemia)
- Hand-and-foot syndrome (redness and tenderness of the palms and soles) -- up to 60 percent
- Diarrhea -- up to 55 percent (see Chemotherapy-Induced Diarrhea)
- Nausea -- up to 53 percent (see Chemotherapy and Nausea)
- Fatigue or weakness -- up to 42 percent (see Chemotherapy and Fatigue)
- Vomiting -- up to 37 percent
- Abdominal pain (stomach pain) -- up to 35 percent
- Loss of appetite -- up to 26 percent
- Neutropenia (low levels of a certain type of white blood cell) -- up to 26 percent
- Mouth sores -- up to 25 percent (see Mouth and Gum Problems During Chemotherapy)
- Unusual sensations (such as burning or tingling) in the hands or feet -- up to 21 percent (see Nerve and Muscle Problems During Chemotherapy).
Other common side effects (occurring in 5 to 18 percent of people) included:
- Constipation (see Constipation With Chemotherapy)
- Eye irritation, vision changes, or conjunctivitis ("pink eye")
- Difficulty breathing
- Pain, including back pain, muscle pain, or joint pain (see Chemotherapy-Related Pain)
- Indigestion or heartburn
- Insomnia (see Xeloda and Insomnia)
- Hair loss (see Xeloda and Hair Loss)
- Taste changes
- Mood changes.