Capecitabine (Xeloda)

The Basics

Capecitabine (brand name- Xeloda, Cacit, Capsy, Capecite, Capnat, Capetero, Capiibine, Citabin) is an FDA-approved treatment for breast cancer, rectal (cancer that begins in the large intestine), or colon cancers. Capecitabine is in a class of medications called antimetabolites. It works by stopping or slowing the growth of cancer cells.

Let us walk you through key things you need to know about capecitabine.

Make sure you read IMPORTANT WARNING section at the end of this article.

How should I take capecitabine (Xeloda)?

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Capecitabine comes as a tablet to take by mouth. It is usually taken twice a day (in the morning and the evening) after a meal (within 30 minutes of breakfast and dinner) with a glass of water. Your doctor will decide how many times you should repeat this cycle.

Swallow the tablets whole; do not split, chew, or crush them. Take capecitabine at around the same time every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take capecitabine exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or more often than your doctor prescribes.

Talk to your doctor about how you are feeling during your treatment. Do not stop taking Capecitabine without talking to your doctor. You can help them by tracking your side effects in Ankr.

What are the side effects of capecitabine or Xeloda?

Common side effects

Serious side effects

Capecitabine may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication. If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online or by phone (1-800-332-1088).

Use the free Ankr platform or Ankr app to track your symptoms.

What special precautions should I follow?

Before taking capecitabine or Xeloda

  • tell your doctor about your allergies
  • tell your doctor about other intakes
  • tell your doctor if you have or have ever had any disease, symptom, or treatment in the past or now
  • tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant

While you are on capecitabine or Xeloda

  • you should not plan to have children while you are taking capecitabine. Talk to your doctor about the birth control method appropriate for you. Capecitabine may harm the fetus.
  • tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding. You should not breastfeed during your treatment with capecitabine.

I forgot a dose. What should I do?

Skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.

In case of an emergency/overdose

In case of overdose, call the poison control helpline at 1-800-222-1222. Information is also available online at If the victim has collapsed, had a seizure, has trouble breathing, or can’t be awakened, immediately call emergency services at 911.

Symptoms of overdose may include:

How should I safely store and dispose of capecitabine or Xeloda?

Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom).

To protect young children from poisoning, always lock safety caps and immediately place the medication in a safe location – one that is up and away and out of their sight and reach.

You should not flush this medication down the toilet. Instead, the best way to dispose of your medication is through a medicine take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage/recycling department to learn about take-back programs in your community. See the FDA’s Safe Disposal of Medicines website ( for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.

Brand names

  • Xeloda®
  • Cacit
  • Capsy
  • Capecite
  • Capnat
  • Capetero
  • Capiibine
  • Citabin

Last Revised – 03/22/2023, FDA-updated- 12/14/2022, SG

Capecitabine may cause serious or life-threatening bleeding when taken along with anticoagulants (‘blood thinners’) such as warfarin (Coumadin®).

Tell your doctor if you are taking warfarin. Your doctor will order laboratory tests to monitor how fast your blood clots and may need to change your dose of warfarin. If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately: unusual bleeding; vomiting or spitting up blood or brown material that resembles coffee grounds; bloody or black, tarry stools; blood in urine; red or dark-brown urine; or easy bruising.

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DISCLAIMER: No part of this content constitutes medical advice, opinion, or should be used for medical decision making without consultation with a licenced medical practitioner and under a patient-provider relationship. All information on the website is provided without any claims of accuracy. For full terms and conditions, visit this link. Content curated by the Ankr team.

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