Capecitabine

Description

Capecitabine is an anticancer medicine which is used in the treatment of colorectal and breast cancer. It should be used only under the supervision of a qualified healthcare professional. It may cause severe liver and kidney injury if taken in high quantities. Close monitoring of blood cell count is necessary while receiving this medicine.

Side effects

Major & minor side effects for Capecitabine

  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Hair loss
  • Low white blood cell count
  • Blurred vision
  • Headache
  • Dry mouth
  • Increased sensitivity of the skin to sunlight
  • Muscle or joint pain
  • Loss of appetite
  • Bone pain

Uses of Capecitabine

What is it prescribed for?

  • Colorectal Cancer
  • Breast cancer
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Concerns

Commonly asked questions

  • Onset of action
    The time required for this medicine to show its effect is not clinically established.
  • Duration of effect
    The time for which this medicine remains active in the body is not clinically established.
  • Safe with alcohol?
    Interaction with alcohol is unknown. It is advisable to consult your doctor before consumption.
  • Is it habit forming?
    No habit forming tendency has been reported.
  • Usage in pregnancy?
    This medicine is not recommended for use in pregnant women.
  • Usage while breast-feeding?
    This medicine is not recommended for use in breastfeeding women except in life-threatening conditions. Your doctor may advise you to discontinue breastfeeding or to discontinue the medicine based on your clinical condition.

Allergy

This medicine is not recommended for use in patients with a known allergy to capecitabine or 5-fluorouracil.

Impaired kidney function

Capecitabine is not recommended for use in patients with severe kidney injury (creatinine clearance less than 30 ml/minute) due to increased risk of serious side effects.
Warnings for special population

Pregnancy

This medicine is not recommended for use in pregnant women.

Breast-feeding

This medicine is not recommended for use in breastfeeding women except in life-threatening conditions. Your doctor may advise you to discontinue breastfeeding or to discontinue the medicine based on your clinical condition.
General warnings

Diarrhea and Dehydration

Capecitabine may cause severe diarrhea which causes electrolytes loss and increases the risk of dehydration and kidney injury. Close monitoring of kidney function is necessary while receiving this medicine. If symptoms of diarrhea get worse, the treatment should be discontinued and a suitable anti-diarrheal treatment should be initiated.

Skin reactions

This medicine may cause severe skin reactions like Stevens-Johnson Syndrome and Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis (TEN). Inform the doctor immediately if any symptoms of skin rashes and itching appear. In patients with severe skin reactions, treatment with this medicine should be discontinued and an alternative medicine should be given.

Effect on blood

Capecitabine may reduce the number of white blood cells (neutrophils) and platelets. This may make the patients more prone to catch an infection. Close monitoring of blood cell count is necessary while receiving this medicine. The baseline of the blood cell count should be obtained before initiation of the treatment. Do not start the treatment if the counts are less than the normal value.

Infections

The chances of infections are more in patients receiving this medicine. Hold the treatment with this medicine and start with broad-spectrum antibiotics if there are any signs and symptoms of infection like a fever or a sore throat. Close monitoring of the body temperature and the blood cell count is necessary while receiving this medicine.

Missed Dose

It is advised that you do not miss any dose of this medicine. If you miss any dose, you should contact your doctor immediately.

Overdose

Seek emergency medical treatment or contact the doctor in case of an overdose.
All drugs interact differently for person to person. You should check all the possible interactions with your doctor before starting any medicine.
Interaction with Alcohol

Description

Interaction with alcohol is unknown. It is advisable to consult your doctor before consumption.

Instructions

Interaction with alcohol is unknown. It is advisable to consult your doctor before consumption.
Interaction with Medicine

Clozapine

Folic Acid

Phenytoin

Live attenuated vaccines and related products

Disease interactions

Heart Disease

Capecitabine may cause serious side effects on the heart like a heart attack or heart failure. This risk is especially higher in patients with a history of heart diseases. Close monitoring of heart function is required while receiving this medicine. An alternate treatment option should be considered based on the clinical condition.

Impaired kidney function

Capecitabine should be used with caution in patients with mild to moderate kidney injury. Close monitoring of kidney function is necessary while receiving this medicine. Appropriate dose adjustments should be done based on the clinical condition. This medicine is not recommended for use in patients with severe kidney dysfunction (creatinine clearance less than 30 ml/minute).

Impaired liver function

Capecitabine should be used with caution in patients with liver injury due to the increased risk of side effects. Close monitoring of liver function is necessary while receiving this medicine. The treatment should be discontinued if liver enzymes are elevated.
Food interactions
Information not available.
Lab interactions
Information not available.
Take Capecitabine as advised by the doctor. Do not consume larger quantities than prescribed. Do not miss any scheduled dose. Consult the doctor immediately if you experience any undesirable effects. Do not stop taking the medicine without consulting your doctor.
Miscelleneous

To be taken immediately after food

To be taken as instructed by doctor

Does not cause sleepiness

How it works
It works by stopping the growth of cancer cells by blocking the DNA synthesis.
Legal Status

Approved

Approved

Approved

Approved

Classification

Category

Antimetabolites

Schedule

Schedule H

Capecitabine - DrugBank [Internet]. Drugbank.ca. 2017 [cited 19 July 2017]. Available from:

https://www.drugbank.ca/drugs/DB01101

[Internet]. 2017 [cited 19 July 2017]. Available from:

https://www.medicines.org.uk/emc/medicine/32319

DailyMed - Capecitabine tablet [Internet]. Dailymed.nlm.nih.gov. 2017 [cited 19 July 2017]. Available from:

https://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/drugInfo.cfm?setid=30830d24-1421-4c25-9b6b-c15705aa4357

Prescribing medicines in pregnancy database [Internet]. Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA). 2017 [cited 19 July 2017]. Available from:

https://www.tga.gov.au/prescribing-medicines-pregnancy-database

[Internet]. Toxnet.nlm.nih.gov. 2017 [cited 19 July 2017]. Available from:

https://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/search2/f?./temp/~u6WYyb:1

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Information on this page was last updated on 11 Jan 2018

Disclaimer

We’ve made all possible efforts to ensure that the information provided here is accurate, up-to-date and complete, however, it should not be treated as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Practo only provides reference source for common information on medicines and does not guarantee its accuracy or exhaustiveness. The absence of a warning for any drug or combination thereof, should not be assumed to indicate that the drug or combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for any given patient. Practo does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information provided above. If you have any doubts about your medication then we strongly recommend that you consult with your doctor, nurse or healthcare provider. See detailed T&C here.