Active Substance: capecitabine
Common Name: capecitabine
ATC Code: L01BC06
Marketing Authorisation Holder: Teva Pharma B.V.
Active Substance: capecitabine
Authorisation Date: 2012-04-20
Therapeutic Area: Colorectal Neoplasms Colonic Neoplasms Stomach Neoplasms Breast Neoplasms
Pharmacotherapeutic Group: Antineoplastic agents
Capecitabine Teva is indicated for the adjuvant treatment of patients following surgery of stage III (Dukes’ stage C) colon cancer.
Capecitabine Teva is indicated for the treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer.
Capecitabine Teva is indicated for first‑line treatment of advanced gastric cancer in combination with a platinum‑based regimen.
Capecitabine Teva in combination with docetaxel is indicated for the treatment of patients with locally advanced or metastatic breast cancer after failure of cytotoxic chemotherapy. Previous therapy should have included an anthracycline. Capecitabine Teva is also indicated as monotherapy for the treatment of patients with locally advanced or metastatic breast cancer after failure of taxanes and an anthracycline containing chemotherapy regimen or for whom further anthracycline therapy is not indicated.
What is Capecitabine Teva?
Capecitabine Teva is a medicine that contains the active substance capecitabine. It is available as tablets (150 and 500 mg).
Capecitabine Teva is a ‘generic medicine’. This means that Capecitabine Teva is similar to a ‘reference medicine’ already authorised in the European Union (EU) called Xeloda.
What is Capecitabine Teva used for?
Capecitabine Teva is an anticancer medicine. It is used to treat:
- colon (large bowel) cancer. Capecitabine Teva is used with or without other anticancer medicines in patients who have had surgery for ‘stage III’ or ‘Dukes’ stage C’ colon cancer;
- metastatic colorectal cancer (cancer of the large bowel that has spread to other parts of the body). Capecitabine Teva is used with or without other anticancer medicines;
- advanced gastric (stomach) cancer. Capecitabine Teva is used with other anticancer medicines, including a platinum-containing anticancer medicine such as cisplatin;
- locally advanced or metastatic breast cancer (breast cancer that has begun to spread to other parts of the body). Capecitabine Teva is used with docetaxel (another anticancer medicine) after treatment with anthracyclines (another type of anticancer medicine) has failed. It can also be used on its own when treatment with both anthracyclines and taxanes (another type of anticancer medicine) has failed or when repeat treatment with anthracyclines is not suitable for the patient.
The medicine can only be obtained with a prescription.
How is Capecitabine Teva used?
Capecitabine Teva should only be prescribed by a doctor who is qualified in the use of anticancer medicines.
Capecitabine Teva is taken twice a day at doses between 625 and 1,250 mg per square metre body surface area (calculated using the patient’s height and weight). The dose depends on the type of cancer being treated. The doctor will calculate the number of 150 and 500 mg tablets the patient needs to take. Capecitabine Teva tablets should be swallowed with water within the 30 minutes after a meal.
Treatment is continued for six months after colon surgery. For other types of cancer, treatment is stopped if the disease gets worse or the patient cannot tolerate the treatment. Doses need to be adjusted for patients with liver or kidney disease and for patients who develop certain side effects.
Full details are available in the summary of product characteristics (also part of the EPAR).
How does Capecitabine Teva work?
The active substance in Capecitabine Teva, capecitabine, is a cytotoxic medicine (a medicine that kills cells that are dividing, such as cancer cells) that belongs to the group ‘anti-metabolites’. Capecitabine is a ‘prodrug’ that is converted to 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) in the body, but more is converted in tumour cells than in normal tissues. It is taken as tablets, while 5-FU normally needs to be injected.
5-FU is an analogue of pyrimidine. Pyrimidine is part of the genetic material of cells (DNA and RNA). In the body, 5-FU takes the place of pyrimidine and interferes with the enzymes involved in making new DNA. As a result, it inhibits the growth of tumour cells and eventually kills them.
How has Capecitabine Teva been studied?
Because Capecitabine Teva is a generic medicine, studies in patients have been limited to tests to determine that it is bioequivalent to the reference medicine, Xeloda. Two medicines are bioequivalent when they produce the same levels of the active substance in the body.
What are the benefits and risks of Capecitabine Teva?
Because Capecitabine Teva is a generic medicine and is bioequivalent to the reference medicine, its benefits and risks are taken as being the same as the reference medicine’s.
Why has Capecitabine Teva been approved?
The CHMP concluded that, in accordance with EU requirements, Capecitabine Teva has been shown to have comparable quality and to be bioequivalent to Xeloda. Therefore, the CHMP’s view was that, as for Xeloda, the benefit outweighs the identified risk. The Committee recommended that Capecitabine Teva be given marketing authorisation.
Other information about Capecitabine Teva
The European Commission granted a marketing authorisation valid throughout the European Union for Capecitabine Teva on 20 April 2012.
For more information about treatment with Capecitabine Teva, read the package leaflet (also part of the EPAR) or contact your doctor or pharmacist.
Source: European Medicines Agency
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