Xeloda

Xeloda Medication Information:

Xeloda medication comes in several different strengths; click on the strength you need to view prices from pharmacies competing to earn your business.

Xeloda 150 mg
Xeloda 500 mg

What is XELODA?

  • XELODA is a prescription medication that is used to treat certain types of cancer. XELODA belongs to a family of medications called the fluoropyrimidines. These medications interfere with the growth of cells that rapidly divide in the body, including cancer cells.

  • XELODA is available as tablets that are taken by mouth. The tablets are coated and oblong shaped.

  • XELODA tablets come in two strengths: 150 mg tablets are light peach coloured, with XELODA engraved on one side and 150 on the other side; 500 mg tablets that are peach coloured with XELODA engraved on one side and 500 on the other side.

  • All XELODA tablets contain the active ingredient capecitabine. XELODA tablets also contain these nonmedicinal ingredients: croscarmellose sodium, hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, lactose, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, talc, titanium dioxide, yellow and red iron oxides.


How does XELODA work?

XELODA is an inactive substance on its own. When XELODA is taken, it is changed in the body, mostly within the tumor (cancer cells). It changes to become the commonly used cancer medication called 5-fluorouracil (also known as 5-FU). In some patients 5-FU will kill cancer cells and decrease the size of the tumor.


Who should take XELODA?

Advanced or metastatic cancer:

  • XELODA is used to treat advanced or metastatic breast cancer. Metastatic means that the cancer has spread outside the breast. When breast cancer has not responded to other chemotherapy medications, XELODA may be one of the choices considered for treatment. Your doctor may prescribe XELODA either alone or in combination with a chemotherapy drug called Taxotere (also known as docetaxel).

  • XELODA is also used to treat metastatic colorectal cancer that has spread outside of the colon and/or rectum.

Adjuvant therapy, stage III colon cancer:

  • XELODA is used to treat cancer of the colon following complete surgical removal. The intent of treatment with XELODA is to prevent or delay the recurrence of cancer (cure).


What should you tell your doctor before you start taking XELODA?

Before beginning treatment with XELODA, make sure your doctor knows if:

  • you ever had a bad reaction to capecitabine, 5-fluorouracil or any of the non-medicinal ingredients.

  • you are allergic to other medications, food and dyes.

  • you are taking any other medications, including those not prescribed by your doctor.

  • tell your doctor if you are taking warfarin (Coumadin). Your doctor may need to check the clotting time of your blood more often.

  • tell your doctor if you are taking phenytoin (Dilantin) or fosphenytoin (Cerebyx). Your doctor may need to check the levels of phenytoin in your blood more often.

  • you have any other illnesses or diseases affecting your kidneys, liver or heart.

  • you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant or are breast-feeding.

This information will help your doctor and you decide whether you should use XELODA and what extra care may need to be taken while you are on the medication.


How should XELODA be taken?

Your doctor prescribed XELODA after carefully studying your condition. Other people may not benefit from taking this medicine, even though their problems may seem similar to yours. Do not give your XELODA to anyone else.

  • The usual dose of XELODA depends on your body surface size. Your doctor will calculate the dose for you.

  • You may need to take a combination of 150 mg and 500 mg tablets. To get the right dose it is very important that you identify the tablets correctly each time you take XELODA. Taking the wrong tablets could result in an overdose (too much medication) or underdose (too little medication).

  • Swallow the XELODA tablets whole, with water.

  • Take the tablets within 30 minutes after the end of a meal (breakfast and dinner).

  • Take the tablets twice a day (morning and evening doses) as your doctor prescribed. Do not take more than your prescribed dose, do not take it more often or for a longer time than your doctor ordered.

  • XELODA is taken in 21 day cycles. This means you take XELODA for 14 days and then stop taking it for 7 days. It is important to have this rest period. Your doctor will decide how many cycles of treatment you will need.

  • For the treatment of colon cancer following complete surgical removal, XELODA is usually taken for eight 21-day cycles (i.e. for a total of 24 weeks or ~6 months).


What should you do if you forget a dose of XELODA?

  • If you forget a dose of XELODA do not take the missed dose at all. Take your next dose at the usual time and check with your doctor. Do not take a double dose.


What should you do in case of an overdose or XELODA is taken accidentally?

  • Call your doctor or the Poison Control Centre immediately if you think you have taken an overdose or someone has accidentally taken your XELODA. If you are not able to contact them, go to the nearest hospital emergency department for medical help.


What else should you remember while you are taking XELODA?

  • Practice contraception: If you are of childbearing age you should avoid becoming pregnant while taking XELODA. No research studies have been done with pregnant women. However, studies with animals suggest that XELODA may cause serious harm to an unborn child.

  • Practice contraception: If you are a male, you are advised not to father a child during treatment.

  • You should stop breastfeeding if you start treatment with XELODA.

  • If you are over 65 years old or have a history of heart disease, you may be more sensitive to XELODA. Watch more carefully for possible unwanted effects.

  • If you are over 80 years old, your stomach may be more sensitive to XELODA. Watch more carefully for possible unwanted effects.


What are the possible unwanted effects of XELODA?

Unwanted effects are possible with all medicines. Tell your doctor, nurse or pharmacist as soon as possible if you do not feel well while you are taking XELODA.

The most common unwanted effects are:

  • diarrhea

  • nausea

  • vomiting

  • sores in the mouth and throat (called stomatitis)

  • tiredness or fatigue

  • tingling, numbness, pain, swelling, redness or blisters of the palms of the hands or feet (called hand-and-foot syndrome)

Less common unwanted effects are:

  • reduced white blood cells, red blood cells and platelets in the blood

  • increased chance of infection

  • increased chance of unusual bleeding


What possible unwanted effects require immediate medical attention?

Stop taking XELODA and call your doctor immediately if you notice any of the following side effects. Your doctor can then adjust XELODA to a dose that is right for you. This should help to reduce the side effects and stop them from getting worse.

  • Diarrhea:

    • an additional 4 bowel movements a day beyond what is normal or any diarrhea at night

    • if you have a colostomy, an increase in loose, watery fluid in your colostomy bag

    • any diarrhea in conjunction with soreness of the mouth affecting your ability to drink enough fluids

  • Vomiting:

    • vomiting more than once in 24 hours, especially if in association with diarrhea

  • Nausea:

    • loss of appetite or eating less food than usual each day

  • Stomatitis:

    • painful sores, redness or swelling in the mouth or throat

  • Hand-and-Foot Syndrome:

    • pain, redness, swelling, ulcers or blisters on the hands and feet

  • Infection:

    • fever; a temperature of 38°C or higher

    • signs of infection such as sore throat, cough, or pain when you pass urine

  • Heart problems:

    • chest pains, abnormal heart rate, edema of extremities

Your doctor may tell you to decrease the dose or stop XELODA treatment for a while. If caught early, most of these side effects usually improve after you stop taking XELODA. If they do not improve within 2 to 3 days, call your doctor again. After side effects have improved, your doctor will tell you whether to start taking XELODA again and what is the right dose for you.

These unwanted effects may differ when taking XELODA in combination with Taxotere (docetaxel). For example, in addition to the unwanted effects mentioned above which may occur with XELODA alone, the following unwanted effects may occur when XELODA is taken in combination with Taxotere: hair loss, weakness, fluid retention, nail changes and peripheral neuropathy (numbness, tingling, and burning of the hands and feet), constipation, abdominal pain, indigestion, dry mouth, rash, weakness, pain, taste disturbance, headache, dizziness, inability to sleep, loss or decreased appetite, dehydration, back pain. Please consult your doctor for more information on the possible unwanted effects that may occur when taking XELODA in combination with Taxotere (docetaxel).

If you are concerned about these or any other unexpected effects while taking XELODA, talk with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.


 

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