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Xeloda (Capecitabine)

 

Warnings: You should not take Xeloda while using a blood thinner of any kind, as this may cause dangerous to fatal bleeding. This bleeding may occur up to one month after stopping Xeloda. If you must take Xeloda and a blood thinner, you should be aware of all of the signs of bleeding and be frequently monitored by a doctor. Do not take antacids less than two hours before or after taking a dose of Xeloda. Xeloda increases your chances of injury or infection. There are also many side effects associated with Xeloda.

Indication: Xeloda is a cancer treatment used primarily to treat breast cancer and colon cancer. Even in these two cases, Xeloda is usually not the first course of action. It is usually used in cases in which breast cancer has returned after what appeared to be a successful treatment, or when other medications do not appear to affect the cancer. In the case of colon cancer, it is usually used to treat cases which are rapidly spreading to other areas of the body, or to prevent colon cancer from returning in a patient who has recently had surgery to remove a tumor. It can occasionally be used to treat other cancers as well, but this is uncommon. Xeloda works by slowing or stopping the growth of cancerous cells.

 

Dosage: Xeloda comes in tablet form. The medication is taken by mouth in the form of a tablet, and usually comes in cycles of three weeks, where the first two weeks are medicated and the third week is medication free. This cycle may happen only once, or as many times as your doctor recommends. You will take Xeloda tablets twice daily, within half an hour of breakfast and dinner, preferably with a glass of water. Swallow your tablets whole rather than chewing, splitting, crushing, or otherwise breaking the tablet.

Overdose: overdosing this drug can lead to death. The risk of complications increases considerably when the drug is overdosed for long term. Even in the absence of overdose, Xeloda can cause serious bleeding and death when used with anticoagulants such as warfarin (Coumadin). Xeloda tends to damage the bone marrow, and lead to decreased blood cells count. It is extremely important that you take Xeloda as indicated by your physician or pharmacist; don’t ever take it more or more often.  

Missing dose: misusing any drug can be fatal; chance of complications is even higher when it comes to chemotherapy drugs. Take Xeloda exactly as prescribed; taking less can decrease the therapeutic effects of the drug; taking more can lead to serious health problems and even death. Do your best to take the medication around the same time every day. In case you forget to take a dose, take the missed one as soon as you remember it. However, if it is time or almost time for your next dose, do not double the next dose to recover the missed one. Contact your doctor or wait to go back to your regular schedule.    

Storage: Keep the medication tightly closed in the container it came, out of the reach of children. Keep the drug at room temperature (15-30 ° C), away from heat above 40 ° C, light and moisture. Xeloda and all other medications should not be used beyond the expiration date printed on the container.

Contraindications: Talk to your doctor about the risks of taking Xeloda if you have ever had an enzyme deficiency, a blood disorder, or any kidney, heart, or liver problems.  

Xeloda is contraindicated or should be used with precaution in the following conditions: 

  • pregnancy
  • breast-feeding
  • neutropenia
  • leucopenia
  • thrombocytopenia
  • severe liver disease
  • severe kidney disease
  • galactosemia or lactase deficiency
  • allergy to xeloda or one of its components
  • dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase deficiency (DPD deficiency)
  • Glucose-galactose malabsorption
  • In combination with sorivudine therapy or chemically related analogues, such as brivudine 

Interactions: Xeloda reacts very seriously with blood thinners of any kind. You should not take blood thinners and Xeloda at the same time or within one month of each other without first talking to your doctor. Xeloda also reacts with the folic acid that occurs in many multivitamins, and with several other medications (such as leucovorin, metronidazole, tinidazole, fosphenytoin, and phenytoin). You should be sure to mention everything you are taking to your doctor, even if it is not a prescription drug. You should also talk to your doctor before you consider getting a vaccine while you are still being treated by Xeloda.

Side effects: by attacking cancer cells, Xeloda also affects normal cells, and cause adverse reactions in some patients. Common xeloda side effects include: 

  • mouth blistering
  • dry mouth
  • loss of appetit
  • diarrhea
  • dehydration
  • stomach pain
  • constipation
  • weakness
  • tiredness
  • headache
  • sleeplessness
  • nausea and vomiting
  • Dry or itching skin

If the side effects above persist for weeks, contact your oncologist. In addition, contact your doctor if you experience any of these symptoms: 

  • dizziness
  • Fainting
  • c hest pain
  • Persistent or sever vomiting
  • severe diarrhea
  • signs of infections: chills, sore throat, fever chill, ect.
  • swollen glands
  • swelling of face, fingers, feet or lower legs
  • instability or lack of coordination
  • sudden blood pressure lowering or rising
  • nosebleeds
  • light-colored stools
  • dark urine
  • Numbness, pain, tingling or other unusual sensations in the palms
  • irritation, swelling or ulceration of the mouth
  • stomachache
  • Blisters, redness, swelling or peeling of the skin in the hands or soles of feet