Xeloda Dosage, forms & strengths
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Xeloda (capecitabine) is an oral antimetabolite that is manufactured by Genentech, Inc. It is approved in adults by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as:
- Adjuvant therapy for Dukes’ C colon cancer.
- First-line treatment as monotherapy for metastatic colorectal cancer when treatment with fluoropyrimidine therapy alone is preferred.
- A combination with docetaxel for metastatic breast cancer after failure of anthracycline-based chemotherapy.
How does Xeloda work?
Xeloda contains a pro-drug capecitabine that is a nucleoside metabolic inhibitor. Following oral administration, it is converted into an active chemotherapy drug called 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) by enzymes in your body. This occurs more in cancerous tissue cells as they contain more of these enzymes than healthy tissue cells. Once activated, 5-FU blocks cancer cell growth by interfering with their DNA and RNA production. This prevents them from producing proteins that are necessary for them to survive.
Xeloda dosage forms and strengths
- 150mg tablet
- 500mg tablet
The dose of Xeloda is calculated based on the body surface area being treated. As monotherapy in metastatic breast or colorectal cancer, the recommended starting dose is 1250mg per square meter of body surface area 2 times a day for 2 weeks followed by a 1-week rest period in 3-week treatment cycles.
As adjuvant treatment in colon cancer, 1250mg per square meter of body surface area 2 times a day for 2 weeks followed by a 1-week rest period is recommended for a total of 8 treatment cycles (6 months).
When used in combination with docetaxel for metastatic breast cancer, the recommended dose is 1250mg per square meter of body surface area 2 times a day for 2 weeks followed by a 7-day rest period. This is taken along with docetaxel 75mg per square meter of body surface area via a 1-hour intravenous infusion every 3 weeks.
The safety and effectiveness of Xeloda have not been established in pediatric patients 18 years of age and younger.
Xeloda dosage restrictions
- Caution should be used in patients with mild to moderate hepatic impairment. The use of Xeloda has not been studied in patients with severe hepatic impairment.
- Patients with moderate renal impairment at baseline require a dose reduction of 25%. You should be carefully monitored for adverse events if you have mild to moderate renal impairment.
How to take Xeloda
- Read the Full Prescribing Information including the Boxed Warning, Instructions for Use, and Medication Guide that comes with this medication.
- Take Xeloda exactly as your doctor prescribes it to you. Do not change your dose or stop taking this medication without discussing it with them first.
- Xeloda is typically taken twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening. You should take Xeloda within 30 minutes after eating a meal.
- Swallow Xeloda tablets whole with water. Do not cut, chew, or crush Xeloda tablets. If you miss a dose, you should skip it and go back to your regular dosing schedule. You should not an extra dose to make up for the missed dose.
- If you think you have taken too much Xeloda, call your doctor right away or go to the nearest emergency room.
- You should store Xeloda in a tightly closed container at room temperature between 68°F to 77°F (20°C to 25°C).
Xeloda dosage FAQs
What are the most common side effects of Xeloda?
The most common adverse reactions of Xeloda in clinical trials include:
- Abdominal pain
- Excessive tiredness
- Decreased appetite
- Mouth ulcers
- Hyperbilirubinemia (increased bilirubin levels)
- Low neutrophil count (neutropenia)
- Hair loss (alopecia)
- Eye irritation
- Tingling and numbness (paresthesia)
Xeloda can sometimes cause more serious adverse events, including:
- Severe, life-threatening hypersensitivity reactions (hives, angioedema, and shortness of breath)
- Severe skin reactions (skin rash, peeling, and blisters)
- Heart problems (chest pain, irregular heartbeats, and swelling)
- Decreased white blood cells, platelets, and red blood cell counts
- Kidney dysfunction
- Liver dysfunction
Contact your healthcare professional for medical advice about any adverse effects you experience while taking Xeloda. You can report your side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or www.fda.gov/medwatch.
What drug interactions occur with Xeloda?
When Xeloda is taken with other medications, it may change the way they work or increase the frequency and severity of side effects. Discuss with your doctor whether any of the prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and herbal supplements you take may interact with this medication, including:
- Anticoagulants such as Coumadin (warfarin)
- CYP2C9 substrates such as Prozac (fluoxetine) and Cozaar (losartan)
- Dilantin (phenytoin)
- Wellcovorin (leucovorin)
- Zyloprim (allopurinol)
Are there any contraindications or precautions with Xeloda?
Xeloda should not be taken if you have the following conditions:
- hypersensitivity to capecitabine, 5-fluorouracil, or any other ingredients in Xeloda.
- have severe kidney dysfunction.
Caution should also be taken in the following:
- Are taking anticoagulants.
- Develop severe diarrhea. Your treatment should be paused until it is resolved.
- If you have coronary artery disease (CAD), you are at an increased risk for cardiovascular side effects.
- If you have dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase, or DPD deficiency, you are more likely to have serious drug-related toxicity from Xeloda.
- Xeloda can cause harm to your fetus. You should use an effective form of contraception while taking this medication.
- Discontinue Xeloda if you have symptoms of skin reactions such as Steven-Johnson Syndrome (SJS) and Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis (TEN).
- If you develop a skin rash called hand-foot syndrome, stop Xeloda treatment until it has been resolved.
Can you take Xeloda while you are pregnant or breastfeeding?
Xeloda may harm your unborn baby. You should have a pregnancy test done prior to starting Xeloda treatment. Notify your doctor immediately if you become pregnant or think you are pregnant while on Xeloda. Females who may become pregnant while on Xeloda should use an effective birth control method during treatment and for 6 months after their last dose. Males with female partners who may become pregnant should use an effective birth control method during treatment and 3 months after their last dose.
It is not known if Xeloda is found in breast milk. You should not breastfeed for 2 weeks after your last dose while taking Xeloda.
You should always discuss the risks and benefits of any medication with your healthcare provider if you are pregnant, plan on becoming pregnant, or are breastfeeding.
What do I do if I miss a dose of Xeloda?
If you miss a dose, you should skip it and wait until your next scheduled dose. You should not an extra dose to make up for the missed dose.
What is the usual starting dose of Xeloda?
The usual starting dose of capecitabine is based on the body surface area your doctor wants to treat. It is usually started at 1250mg per square meter of body surface area 2 times a day for 2 weeks, followed by a one-week rest period in 3-week cycles. Your doctor may adjust your dose level based on your response and any adverse reactions that occur.
Related resources for Xeloda dosage:
The content on this website is intended for information purposes only. It does not constitute medical advice. The information on this website should not be relied upon and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. You should always speak to your doctor regarding the risks and benefits of any treatment.