What is Xeloda?Xeloda is a medicine used for adjuvant treatment (in addition to the main therapy) of cancer in people with colon cancer after surgery. It is also used to treat colon or rectum cancer that has spread to other parts of your body. In addition, Xeloda is used alone or in combination with another medicine called docetaxel to treat cancer of your breast that has spread to other parts of your body and has not improved after treatment with other medicines.
What is the most important information I should know about Xeloda?Xeloda can cause diarrhea that can be severe. This can lead to too much body fluid loss (dehydration) or electrolyte loss (chemicals that are important for the cells in your body to function, such as sodium and potassium). Stop taking Xeloda and tell your doctor immediately if you have an additional 4 bowel movements each day beyond what is normal, or any diarrhea at night.
Xeloda can increase the effects of blood thinners (such as warfarin) and can lead to serious side effects. Tell your doctor if you are taking blood thinners. Your doctor needs to check more often how fast your blood clots and change the dose of your blood thinner, if needed.
Heart problems, including heart attack, chest pain, irregular heartbeat, or heart failure, can occur if you take Xeloda, especially if you have a history of heart disease. Tell your doctor if you have a history of heart disease.
Xeloda can cause a decrease in neutrophil (type of cell that fights infections) counts in your blood. This may increase your risk of developing an infection. Stop taking Xeloda and tell your doctor immediately if you have a temperature of 100.5°F or greater, or other signs of infection.
Xeloda can also cause low platelet (type of blood cells that form clots to help stop bleeding) counts or low red blood cell counts. Your doctor will monitor your blood cell counts before you start Xeloda and regularly during your treatment.
Tell your doctor if you have been told that you lack the enzyme dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase. This can lead to severe toxicity, including mouth sores, diarrhea, a decrease in neutrophil counts in your blood, or nervous system problems.
Stop taking Xeloda and tell your doctor immediately if you vomit more than once in a 24-hour time period; lose your appetite, and the amount of food you eat each day is much less than usual; or if you have pain, redness, swelling, or sores in your mouth.
Xeloda can cause hand-foot syndrome, a syndrome characterized as a tingling sensation of your hands or feet that can progress to pain. Also, your palms and the soles of your feet become swollen and red with tenderness. Tell your doctor immediately if you experience these symptoms and stop taking Xeloda if you have pain, swelling, or redness of your hands or feet that prevents normal activity.
Xeloda can cause harm to your unborn baby if you take it during pregnancy. Tell your doctor immediately if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. If you are a man, use appropriate contraceptive measures while taking Xeloda.
Who should not take Xeloda?Do not take Xeloda if you are allergic to it, any of its ingredients, or fluorouracil. Also, do not take Xeloda if you have been told that you lack the enzyme known as dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase, or if you have severe kidney impairment.
What should I tell my doctor before I take the first dose of Xeloda?Tell your doctor about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Xeloda. Also, talk to your doctor about your complete medical history, especially if you have kidney, liver, or heart problems; or are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.
What is the usual dosage?The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your doctor uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your doctor may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your doctor's approval.
Adults: Your doctor will prescribe the appropriate dose for you based on your weight and height.
If you have moderate kidney impairment, your doctor will adjust your dose appropriately.
How should I take Xeloda?Take Xeloda exactly as prescribed by your doctor.
Xeloda is taken in 2 daily doses: a morning dose and an evening dose. You can take Xeloda within 30 minutes after a meal. Swallow Xeloda tablets whole with water; do not cut or crush the tablets.
Xeloda is usually taken for 14 days followed by a 7-day rest period (no medication), for a 21-day cycle. Your doctor will tell you how many cycles of treatment you will need.
The 150-milligram (mg) tablets are light peach in color with 150 engraved on one side, and the 500-mg tablets are peach in color with 500 engraved on one side. Your doctor may change the amount of medicine you take.
What should I avoid while taking Xeloda?Do not let the powder from broken Xeloda tablets touch your skin. If you touch a broken tablet, wash your skin immediately and thoroughly with soap and water.
Do not cut or crush the tablets.
Do not get any Xeloda in your eyes. Wash your eyes thoroughly with water if this occurs.
What are possible food and drug interactions associated with Xeloda?If Xeloda is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Xeloda with the following: blood thinners, leucovorin calcium, or phenytoin.
What are the possible side effects of Xeloda?Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this drug.
Side effects may include: abdominal pain, back pain, chest pain, constipation, decreased blood cell counts, dehydration, diarrhea, discolored skin, dizziness, dry or itchy skin, fever, hair loss, headache, infections, joint or muscle pain, loss of appetite, nail changes, nausea, numbness or tingling of your palms or soles of your feet, rash, redness or swelling of your palms or soles of your feet, sores in your mouth and throat, taste problems, tiredness, trouble sleeping, upset stomach, vomiting, weakness
Can I receive Xeloda if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?Xeloda can cause harm to your unborn baby if you take it during pregnancy. The effects of Xeloda while breastfeeding are unknown. Tell your doctor immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.
What should I do if I miss a dose of Xeloda?If you miss a dose of Xeloda, skip the one you missed and return to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take two doses at once.
How should I store Xeloda?Store at room temperature.