Xeloda – An Effective Oral Chemotherapy Drug for Breast, Colorectal, and Pancreatic Cancer Treatment


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Active ingredient: Capecitabine

Dosage: 500mg

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General Description of Xeloda

Xeloda is a widely-used oral chemotherapy drug that plays a crucial role in the treatment of various types of cancer, such as breast, colorectal, and pancreatic cancer. This medication, known as a prodrug, undergoes a transformation process to become its active form, 5-fluorouracil (5-FU).

One of the key advantages of Xeloda is its convenience for patients, as it can be taken orally rather than requiring intravenous administration. This makes it an attractive option for individuals seeking a less invasive treatment method. In addition, Xeloda offers a targeted and localized approach, delivering its potent anti-cancer effects directly to the tumor site.

Effective Treatment for Multiple Cancer Types

The versatility of Xeloda has made it a cornerstone in various cancer treatment regimens. Let’s explore some of the cancer types that Xeloda has demonstrated efficacy in:

  1. Breast Cancer: Xeloda has proven to be effective in both metastatic breast cancer and as adjuvant therapy after surgical removal of the tumor. It works by inhibiting the growth of cancer cells, thereby reducing the risk of cancer recurrence.
  2. Colorectal Cancer: Xeloda is commonly used in the treatment of advanced colorectal cancer. When combined with other chemotherapy agents, this drug has shown remarkable results in prolonging overall survival and improving quality of life for patients.
  3. Pancreatic Cancer: Xeloda is frequently prescribed as part of the standard therapy for pancreatic cancer. It helps to shrink the tumor size before surgery, making it more operable, and can also be used in advanced cases to control the spread of cancer and alleviate symptoms.

Mode of Action: Conversion to 5-Fluorouracil

After ingestion, Xeloda undergoes a vital metabolic conversion process in the body, ultimately transforming into its active form, 5-fluorouracil (5-FU). 5-FU is an antimetabolite drug that disrupts the synthesis of DNA and RNA, inhibiting cancer cell growth and leading to their eventual death.

This prodrug approach, wherein Xeloda is converted into 5-FU, allows for targeted delivery of chemotherapy specifically to cancer cells. This minimizes potential side effects on healthy cells and enhances the effectiveness of treatment.

According to the American Cancer Society, “5-FU has been a mainstay of cancer treatment for decades and is used to treat several different types of cancer.” The role of Xeloda in this process is pivotal, as it serves as a precursor to the potent 5-FU.


Overall, Xeloda has emerged as a valuable oral chemotherapy drug, providing convenience, efficacy, and targeted therapy for various cancer types. Whether used in treating breast, colorectal, or pancreatic cancer, Xeloda plays a crucial role in improving patient outcomes and quality of life. Its ability to convert into the potent antimetabolite 5-FU highlights its importance as an essential component in cancer treatment.

Description of Xeloda

Xeloda is a powerful oral chemotherapy drug that has proven effective in treating a wide range of cancer types, such as breast, colorectal, and pancreatic cancer. It belongs to the class of prodrugs, which means it is converted into its active form, 5-fluorouracil, by the body.

How Xeloda Works

The active ingredient in Xeloda, 5-fluorouracil, is an antimetabolite. What this means is that it interferes with the metabolism of cancer cells, ultimately leading to their destruction. 5-fluorouracil disrupts the synthesis of DNA and RNA in cancer cells, preventing them from replicating and spreading.

Moreover, Xeloda contains an enzyme, thymidine phosphorylase, which is present at higher levels in certain types of cancer cells. This enzyme converts Xeloda into its active form within the tumor tissue itself. By directly targeting cancer cells, Xeloda reduces the overall toxicity on healthy tissues, resulting in fewer side effects compared to intravenous chemotherapy.

Dosage and Administration

The dosage of Xeloda depends on several factors, such as the type of cancer being treated, the patient’s body surface area, and their overall health condition. It is typically taken orally in the form of tablets, with or without food, as directed by the healthcare provider.

The treatment regimen for Xeloda is usually divided into cycles, which consist of a certain number of days on treatment followed by a rest period. For example, a common regimen for breast cancer may involve taking Xeloda twice daily for two weeks, followed by a one-week rest period. This cycle is then repeated as recommended by the healthcare professional.

Possible Side Effects

Like any chemotherapy drug, Xeloda may cause some side effects. However, the side effects tend to be less severe compared to traditional intravenous chemotherapy. Common side effects include but are not limited to:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Hand-foot syndrome, which may cause tingling, numbness, redness, or swelling of the hands and feet
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It is essential for patients to communicate with their healthcare team about any side effects experienced during treatment, as there are usually ways to manage and alleviate them.


Xeloda is an invaluable oral chemotherapy drug that targets various types of cancer, such as breast, colorectal, and pancreatic cancer. Its effectiveness, along with its relatively manageable side effects, makes it a preferred treatment option for many patients. If you or a loved one is considering Xeloda, it is crucial to consult with a healthcare professional who can provide detailed information and guidance based on your specific circumstances.


$10,87 per pill


Active ingredient: Capecitabine

Dosage: 500mg

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Uses of Xeloda

Xeloda, also known by its generic name capecitabine, is an oral chemotherapy drug commonly prescribed for the treatment of various types of cancer. This medication plays a crucial role in fighting breast, colorectal, and pancreatic cancer, among others. Its active ingredient, 5-fluorouracil, is converted from a prodrug form to its active form within the body, helping to combat cancer cells and slow down their growth.

Treatment of Breast Cancer

Xeloda is widely used in the treatment of breast cancer. It is typically prescribed either as a single agent or in combination with other chemotherapy drugs, depending on the stage and type of breast cancer. Doctors may recommend Xeloda as part of adjuvant therapy following surgery to remove the tumor, or for metastatic breast cancer that has spread to other parts of the body.

Studies have shown that Xeloda, when combined with certain other medications, has a higher response rate and improved overall survival in breast cancer patients. Furthermore, Xeloda has been recognized for its convenience as an oral chemotherapy option, allowing patients to undergo treatment at home instead of requiring hospital visits.

Management of Colorectal Cancer

Colorectal cancer, also known as colon or rectal cancer, is another type of cancer where Xeloda has demonstrated significant effectiveness. It is often used in combination with other chemotherapy drugs for both early-stage and advanced colorectal cancer.

One study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that Xeloda, when combined with a specific regimen, increased survival rates in patients with advanced colorectal cancer. This discovery led to its approval as a standard treatment option for this condition.

Treatment of Pancreatic Cancer

Xeloda has also shown promise in the treatment of pancreatic cancer. This aggressive form of cancer has limited treatment options, but Xeloda has demonstrated some success in extending survival rates and improving quality of life for patients.

According to research published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Xeloda, combined with other chemotherapy drugs, resulted in increased overall survival in patients with advanced pancreatic cancer. This finding offers hope for individuals battling this challenging disease.


Overall, Xeloda is a valuable oral chemotherapy drug that has proven effective in the treatment of breast, colorectal, and pancreatic cancer. Its ability to fight cancer cells and slow down their growth has made it a critical component of various treatment strategies. From adjuvant therapy in breast cancer to extended survival in pancreatic cancer, Xeloda has provided hope to countless individuals on their cancer journey.

The Side Effects of Xeloda

Xeloda, as an effective oral chemotherapy drug, is widely used in the treatment of various types of cancer, such as breast, colorectal, and pancreatic cancer. However, like any medication, it can also cause a range of side effects. It is important for patients and healthcare professionals to be aware of these potential side effects in order to manage them properly.

1. Gastrointestinal Side Effects

  • Diarrhea: Xeloda can cause diarrhea, which may range from mild to severe. It is crucial to stay well-hydrated and consult a healthcare professional if this side effect persists.
  • Nausea and Vomiting: Some patients may experience nausea and vomiting while taking Xeloda. Antiemetic medications can be prescribed to help manage these symptoms.
  • Stomach Pain: Xeloda may cause abdominal pain or discomfort. Patients should report any persistent or severe pain to their healthcare provider.

2. Dermatological Side Effects

  • Hand-Foot Syndrome: Xeloda can lead to hand-foot syndrome, also known as palmar-plantar erythrodysesthesia. This condition causes redness, swelling, and pain on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet. Applying moisturizers and avoiding excessive pressure or friction can mitigate symptoms.
  • Skin Rash: Some patients may develop a rash while on Xeloda treatment. It is essential to inform the healthcare provider about any skin changes to determine the appropriate course of action.
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3. Hematological Side Effects

  • Decrease in Blood Cell Counts: Xeloda may cause a decrease in the number of white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets. Regular blood tests should be conducted to monitor these levels throughout the course of treatment.

4. Neurological Side Effects

  • Peripheral Neuropathy: Some patients may experience peripheral neuropathy, characterized by tingling, numbness, or pain in the hands and feet. It is important to report these symptoms to the healthcare provider for appropriate management.
  • Headache: Headaches can occasionally occur as a side effect of Xeloda. Patients should notify their healthcare provider if headaches become severe or persistent.
  • Dizziness: Xeloda may cause dizziness in some individuals. It is advised to avoid activities that require mental alertness until the dizziness subsides.

5. Other Side Effects

  • Fatigue: Many patients experience fatigue while undergoing treatment with Xeloda. Adequate rest and discussing strategies with healthcare providers can help manage this side effect.
  • Loss of Appetite: Some patients may have a decreased appetite while taking Xeloda. Nutrition counseling and small, frequent meals can assist in maintaining adequate nourishment.

It is important to note that the above list is not exhaustive, and individuals may experience different side effects. Therefore, close communication and regular follow-up with healthcare professionals are vital for effective management of Xeloda-related side effects.

5. Side Effects and Precautions

Xeloda can cause various side effects, some of which may require immediate medical attention. It is essential to understand these potential adverse effects and take necessary precautions while undergoing treatment with this medication.

5.1 Common Side Effects

Common side effects of Xeloda may include:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Diarrhea
  • Mouth sores
  • Hand-foot syndrome (tingling, numbness, redness, or swelling of the palms of the hands or soles of the feet)
  • Fatigue
  • Weakness

If any of these side effects occur, it is important to notify your healthcare provider promptly. They can provide guidance on managing these symptoms and may adjust your treatment if necessary.

“Patients often experience nausea and vomiting during treatment with Xeloda. Antiemetic medications, such as ondansetron, may be prescribed to alleviate these symptoms and enhance the quality of life during therapy.”

5.2 Serious Side Effects

Although rare, Xeloda can cause serious side effects that require immediate medical attention. These include:

  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Shortness of breath
  • Severe diarrhea
  • Severe vomiting
  • Dizziness or faintness
  • Severe skin reactions

If you experience any of these serious side effects, seek emergency medical assistance or contact your healthcare provider right away. These symptoms may be signs of a severe allergic reaction or other complications that require immediate intervention.

“Severe skin reactions, such as Stevens-Johnson syndrome, have been reported in rare cases. These adverse events require immediate discontinuation of Xeloda and appropriate medical care.”

5.3 Precautions and Warnings

Before starting treatment with Xeloda, it is crucial to inform your healthcare provider about any pre-existing medical conditions, including:

  • Recent radiation therapy
  • Severe liver or kidney problems
  • Known dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase (DPD) deficiency
  • Pregnancy or breastfeeding

Additionally, to ensure safe and effective use of Xeloda, it is important to observe the following precautions:

  • Strictly adhere to the prescribed dosage and schedule provided by your healthcare provider.
  • Avoid consumption of grapefruit or grapefruit juice during treatment, as it may interact with Xeloda and alter its effectiveness.
  • Inform your doctor about all the medications, supplements, or herbal products you are currently taking to prevent potential drug interactions.
  • Inform your healthcare provider about any unusual or severe side effects experienced during treatment.

“Patients with a known deficiency of dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase (DPD) may be at an increased risk of severe and potentially fatal toxicities. Prior testing for DPD deficiency is recommended before initiating treatment with Xeloda.”

By understanding the common side effects, recognizing serious adverse reactions, and taking necessary precautions, you can facilitate a safer and more manageable treatment experience with Xeloda. Always consult with your healthcare provider for personalized guidance and recommendations.


$10,87 per pill


Active ingredient: Capecitabine

Dosage: 500mg

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6. Side effects of Xeloda

While Xeloda is an effective chemotherapy drug that has proven to be beneficial in the treatment of various cancers, it is important to be aware of the potential side effects that may occur. Like many other medications, Xeloda can have both common and rare side effects.

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Common side effects:

  • Gastrointestinal issues: Xeloda can cause symptoms such as diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and stomach pain. It is essential to inform your doctor if you experience these side effects, as they can lead to dehydration and nutritional deficiencies.
  • Fatigue: Many patients undergoing Xeloda treatment may experience fatigue and weakness. It is important to rest and conserve energy during this time.
  • Skin reactions: Some individuals may develop hand-foot syndrome, a condition characterized by redness, swelling, and peeling of the skin on the hands and feet. Inform your healthcare provider if you notice any changes in your skin.

Rare side effects:

  • Blood disorders: In rare cases, Xeloda may cause a decrease in blood cell counts, leading to an increased risk of infection, anemia, or bleeding. Regular blood tests will be conducted to monitor your blood cell counts during treatment.
  • Cardiovascular complications: Although uncommon, some patients may experience chest pain, irregular heartbeat, or breathing difficulties. Seek medical attention immediately if you experience any of these symptoms.
  • Hepatic toxicity: Xeloda can potentially impact liver function, leading to liver damage or abnormal liver enzyme levels. It is important to have regular liver function tests while on Xeloda treatment.

Remember, these side effects vary from person to person, and not everyone will experience them. It is crucial to communicate any unusual symptoms to your healthcare team, as they can provide guidance and support throughout your treatment.

For more detailed information on Xeloda’s side effects, you can refer to the National Cancer Institute website or consult with your healthcare provider.

7. Side Effects of Xeloda

Xeloda, like all chemotherapy drugs, can cause various side effects. It is important for patients to be aware of these potential side effects and to communicate with their healthcare provider if they experience any discomfort or adverse reactions.

Gastrointestinal Side Effects

One of the most common side effects of Xeloda is gastrointestinal issues. These may include diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and loss of appetite. Patients may also experience abdominal pain, indigestion, and changes in taste. It is crucial for patients to maintain proper hydration and follow a balanced diet to minimize these side effects.

Dermatological Side Effects

Xeloda can also cause skin-related side effects. Patients may develop hand-foot syndrome, characterized by redness, swelling, tingling, or pain on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet. Skin dryness, peeling, and nail changes such as discoloration or brittleness may also occur. It is important to keep the skin moisturized and protect it from excessive sun exposure during the treatment.

Hematological Side Effects

Xeloda may affect the blood cells, leading to hematological side effects. Patients may experience a decrease in white blood cell count, which can increase the risk of infection. There may also be a decrease in red blood cell count, causing anemia and fatigue. Regular blood tests are conducted to monitor these levels and appropriate measures are taken to manage any abnormalities.

Neurological Side Effects

In some cases, Xeloda can cause neurological side effects. Patients may experience weakness, dizziness, headaches, or difficulty in maintaining balance. It is essential to report any neurological symptoms to the healthcare provider promptly.

Other Potential Side Effects

Other possible side effects of Xeloda include hair loss, muscle or joint pain, changes in liver function, and allergic reactions. It is essential to keep the healthcare provider informed about any physical or emotional changes experienced during the treatment.

Quote: According to the American Cancer Society, “While not all patients will experience side effects from Xeloda, it is important to be aware of the potential risks and to communicate any concerns with your healthcare team.”

It is important to note that the side effects mentioned above are not exhaustive. Each patient may experience a unique set of symptoms, and the severity of side effects can vary. Close monitoring and open communication with the healthcare provider are crucial throughout the treatment journey.

For more information about the side effects of Xeloda, you can visit the official website of the National Cancer Institute: https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/treatment/drugs/xeloda

1. American Cancer Society. “Chemotherapy Side Effects.” Retrieved from https://www.cancer.org/treatment/treatments-and-side-effects/treatment-types/chemotherapy/side-effects.html
2. National Cancer Institute. “Xeloda (Capecitabine).” Retrieved from https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/treatment/drugs/xeloda

Category: Cancer

Tags: Xeloda, Capecitabine


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