The capecitabine is an antimetabolite that blocks and / or slows the growth of cancer cells.
What is capecitabine used for?
Used alone or in combination with other drugs, it is used in the treatment of breast cancer recurrences or other forms of breast cancer that do not respond to other drugs.In addition, it is prescribed in the treatment of forms of colorectal cancer (worsening or metastatic) or to avoid the spread of colon cancer following surgery to remove the tumor.It is also sometimes used for advanced stomach cancers .
How is capecitabine taken?
It is administered orally in the form of tablets. The dosage is usually 2 doses per day – one in the morning and one in the evening – to be taken for 2 weeks, followed by a week of interruption before embarking on an identical new cycle.
The tablets should be swallowed whole, with the help of a glass of water, within 30 minutes of the meal.
Side effects of capecitabine
If taken concomitantly with anticoagulant drugs, capecitabine can trigger dangerous bleeding.
Other possible side effects of the drug also include:
- increasing thirst
- loss of appetite
- stomach problems
- sleep disorders
- back, joint or muscle pain
- red or swollen eyes , itching or watery eyes
- hair loss
- skin rashes
- excessive tiredness or weakness
- changes in taste
In addition, it is good to seek medical attention immediately if the drug causes:
- accelerated beat
- discharge of diarrhea
- chest pain, heaviness or tightness
- fever, chills, sore throat or other symptoms of an infection
- swelling of the hands, feet, ankles or calves
- swelling, pain, redness or peeling of the palms of the hands or soles of the feet
- feeling sick
- sores in the mouth
- dark urine
Contraindications and warnings of capecitabine
Before administration of capecitabine, the physician should be informed of:
- about the presence of any allergies to the active substance, its excipients, fluorouracil or any other drug;
- of the other medicines, phytotherapy or supplements already taken in the past, remembering to mention, above all, leukovorin, folic acid or phenytoin;
- in case of deficiency of the enzyme dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase;
- if you suffer (or have suffered in the past) from kidney, liver or heart disease;
- if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.