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Capecitabine (By mouth)

Capecitabine (kap-e-SYE-ta-been)

Treats breast cancer and colon cancer.

Brand Name(s):


There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

This medicine is not right for everyone. Do not use it if you had an allergic reaction to capecitabine or 5-fluorouracil, you have kidney disease or DPD deficiency, or you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

How to Use This Medicine:


  • Medicines used to treat cancer are very strong and can have many side effects. Before receiving this medicine, make sure you understand all the risks and benefits. It is important for you to work closely with your doctor during your treatment.
  • Take your medicine as directed. Your dose may need to be changed several times to find what works best for you.
  • It is best to take this medicine with food or within 30 minutes after you eat. Swallow the tablet whole with water.
  • At each dose you may need to take 2 capecitabine tablets that are different colors and have different numbers imprinted on them. Make sure you take the correct tablet at the correct time of day so you do not get too little or too much of the medicine.
  • Missed dose: Skip the missed dose and take your next dose at the scheduled time. Do not take extra medicine to make up for the missed dose. Tell your doctor you missed a dose.
  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any leftover medicine after you have finished your treatment. You will also need to throw away old medicine after the expiration date has passed.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Some medicines can affect how capecitabine works. Tell your doctor if you are taking any of the following:
    • A blood thinner, such as warfarin
    • Antacids
    • Folic acid (vitamin B9)
    • Leucovorin
    • Phenytoin

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • It is not safe to take this medicine during pregnancy. It could harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Chest pain, fast or irregular heartbeat
  • Diarrhea 4 or more times each day, diarrhea at night, or blood in your bowel movements
  • Fever of at least 100.5°, or other signs of infection, such as chills or sore throat
  • Mouth or tongue sores, or pain, redness, or swelling in your mouth, even if you can eat
  • Pain, redness, blistering, peeling, swelling, tingling, or numbness in your hands or feet
  • Severe nausea, or vomiting more than 1 time in 24 hours
  • Unusual bleeding or bruising, unusual tiredness or weakness, pale skin
  • Yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Last Updated: 11/4/2014
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