Capecitabine & Oxaliplatin (Capox)

Capecitabine and Oxaliplatin are chemotherapy medications. These drugs are designed to slow down the growth and kill colon cancer by damaging the DNA of rapidly dividing cells.

It shrinks tumors and decreases the symptoms of colon cancer. If colon cancer is in the early stage (limited to intestine tissue or surrounding lymph nodes), it is commonly given with the goal of cure. If colon cancer is advanced or metastatic (spread to other areas of the body), it is not commonly given with the goal of cure, but rather to shrink tumors and decrease symptoms.

In today’s day and age, most of the side effects of chemotherapy can be effectively managed by your cancer team, making this tried and trusted treatment combination very useful.

Depending on the context, capecitabine and oxaliplatin can be used for:

  • colon cancer
  • rectal cancer
  • breast cancer

Usually, a course of several cycles of treatment is planned over a few months. XELOX is given every 21 days. On day 1, oxaliplatin is given as an infusion. Capecitabine tablets are given from the evening of day 1 to the morning of day 15. It is followed by a rest period with no treatment for 7 days. This completes the first cycle of XELOX.

At the end of the rest period, the second cycle of XELOX begins. Your nurse or doctor will discuss your treatment plan with you. They may give you a copy of the treatment plan to take home with you.

Capecitabine is taken as tablets. Always take tablets exactly as explained to make sure they work as well as possible. 

Take capecitabine tablets twice a day about 12 hours apart. Swallow them whole with a glass of water within half an hour of eating a meal. Capecitabine works best if it’s broken down in the stomach with food. Take them in the morning after breakfast and then after evening meal. 

Tell your doctor if you find it difficult to swallow the tablets. They may suggest that you dissolve the capecitabine tablets in a 200ml glass of warm water. Stir the water with a spoon until the tablets are completely dissolved and then drink it immediately. The glass and spoon should be washed and kept separate from your other crockery and cooking utensils.

If you forget to take a tablet, do not take a double dose. Keep to your regular schedule and let your doctor or nurse know. 

Now, let’s learn about the side effects of each of these chemotherapy medications. This will help you maximize the benefits and reduce the risk of harm.

Read more about folfiri and bevacizumab here:

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