Brand name: Xeloda
Chemical name: Capecitabine
How it works: Antimetabolites kill cancer cells by acting as false building blocks in a cancer cell's genes, causing the cancer cell to die as it gets ready to divide.
Uses: Xeloda often is used in combination with other anticancer medicines. Typically it's used to treat metastatic breast cancer that has stopped responding to Taxol, Taxotere, and Adriamycin.
How it's given: Xeloda is taken orally as a pill.
Additional information: Xeloda is in an inactive form when you take it. Your liver, and then enzymes in the cancer cells, convert it to its active cancer-fighting form, 5-fluorouracil. (Cancer cells contain high levels of an enzyme that converts Xeloda to its active state.) This two-step activation process means that a higher concentration of the medicine ends up in the cancer tissue, rather than in healthy tissue.
- mouth and throat sores
- loss of appetite or decreased appetite
- excessive water loss from the body (dehydration)
- hand-foot syndrome
- irregular periods -- this can include temporary cessation (usually resume after medication is completed) or permanent cessation of menstrual periods depending on your age and other factors
To connect with others taking Xeloda, ask questions, get answers and support, visit the Breastcancer.org Discussion Board thread All about Xeloda.