Capecitabine review

Capecitabine is a prescribed drug used in treating different kinds of cancer. It works by killing the cancer cells and shrinks the tumors by preventing the process of cell formation. This drug comes in tablets of 500mg and 150mg.

Capecitabine is a drug distributed under the brand name Xeloda. This drug is given to patients who have breast cancer, bowel cancer, stomach cancer and oestophageal cancer. Capecitabine is also considered as a chemotherapy drug.

Capecitabine is in a form of tablet which can be taken orally with a recommended dosage of twice a day or as prescribed by your doctor. Capecitabine must be taken after meal with a glass full of water to avoid upset stomach. Adjustment of the dosage will be prescribed by the doctor based on the result of the initial medication. The dosage should be maintained unless advised by the doctor.

The dosage should not be taken more than what is prescribed because this will lead to overdose which can be very harmful for the patient. Any signs of overdose should be given immediate action by a medical professional.

For missed dose, you must contact your doctor so you will be given proper advice on a new dosage.

Capecitabine can cause some common side effects including body aches, itchy skin, dizziness, vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, and constipation, loss of appetite, body weakness and difficulty in sleeping.

Aside from those common side effects, serious side effects may also occur to some patients which include high fever, vomiting two or more in a day, loose bowel movement for more than five times a day, bleeding, dark urine, difficulty in breathing and numbness of the hands or feet.

If these side effects occur, it is important to seek immediate medical attention to avoid any complications. The doctor will advice if it is safe to continue with the medicine or not.

Capecitabine has a tendency to react with blood thinning medicines such as warfarin and phenprocoumon which causes severe bleeding and could even lead to death when not controlled. You must inform your doctor if you are taking other medicines aside from those mentioned.

Certain medical conditions such as heart disease, kidney problems, allergies, blood disorders and others may interfere to the effectiveness of the drug and may have unwanted reactions with Capecitabine. That is why it is essential to consult your doctor before medication.

Capecitabine may weaken the anti-bodies making the body to weak to fight several infections. In this case, it is important to be cautious of your hygiene. As much as possible, avoid contact with your nose or eyes without thoroughly washing your hands. Any plans of vaccination must first be consulted to the doctor.

Patients undergoing medication should avoid activities that may cause injuries to the body. Pregnant women and nursing mothers should consult a doctor and discuss about the risks involved when using the drug.

Series of laboratory and medical tests are conducted before doctors prescribe the use of Capecitabine as medication so it should never be shared to anyone else.

Capecitabine has the following structural formula:

Chemical structure of capecitabine

• Molecular formula of capecitabine is C15H22FN3O6
• Chemical IUPAC Name is pentyl[1-(3,4-dihydroxy-5-methyl-tetrahydrofuran-2-yl)-5- fluoro-2-oxo-1H-pyrimidin-4-yl]aminomethanoate
• Molecular weight is 359.35 g/mol
Capecitabine available : 150mg tablets and 500mg tablets

Brand name(s): Xeloda

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