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Package leaflet: Information for the user
Capecitabine 150mg film-coated tablets
Capecitabine 500mg film-coated tablets
Read all of this leaflet carefully before you start taking this medicine because it contains
important information for you.
 Keep this leaflet. You may need to read it again.
 If you have any further questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
 This medicine has been prescribed for you only. Do not pass it on to others. It may harm them,
even if their signs of illness are the same as yours.
 If you get any side effects, talk to your doctor or pharmacist. This includes any possible side
effects not listed in this leaflet. See section 4.
What is in this leaflet
1. What capecitabine is and what it is used for
2. What you need to know before you take capecitabine
3. How to take capecitabine
4. Possible side effects
5. How to store capecitabine
6. Contents of the pack and other information

What capecitabine is and what it is used for

The name of your medicine is Capecitabine 150mg film-coated Tablets or Capecitabine 500mg filmcoated Tablets (referred to as capecitabine throughout this leaflet). Capecitabine belongs to the group
of medicines called "cytostatic medicines", which stop the growth of cancer cells. Capecitabine
Tablets contain 150mg or 500mg capecitabine, which itself is not a cytostatic medicine. Only after
being absorbed by the body is it changed into an active anti-cancer medicine (more in tumour tissue
than in normal tissue).
Capecitabine is used in the treatment of colon, rectal, gastric, or breast cancers. Furthermore,
capecitabine is used to prevent new occurrence of colon cancer after complete removal of the tumour
by surgery.
Capecitabine may be used either alone or in combination with other medicines.

What you need to know before you take capecitabine

Do not take capecitabine
 If you are allergic to capecitabine or any of the other ingredients of this medicine (listed in
section 6). You must inform your doctor if you know that you have an allergy or over-reaction to
this medicine.
 If you previously have had severe reactions to fluoropyrimidine therapy (a group of anticancer
medicines such as fluorouracil).
 If you are pregnant or nursing.
 If you have severely low levels of white cells or platelets in the blood (leucopenia, neutropenia or
 If you have severe liver or kidney problems.
 If you know that you do not have any activity of the enzyme dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase

If you are being treated now or have been treated in the last 4 weeks with brivudine, sorivudine
or similar classes of substance as part of herpes zoster (chickenpox or shingles) therapy.

Warnings and precautions
Talk to your doctor or pharmacist before taking capecitabine:
 If you know that you have a partial deficiency in the activity of the enzyme dihydropyrimidine
dehydrogenase (DPD).
 If you have liver or kidney diseases.
 If you have or had heart problems (for example an irregular heartbeat or pains to the chest, jaw
and back brought on by physical effort and due to problems with the blood flow to the heart).
 If you have brain diseases (for example cancer that has spread to the brain or nerve damage
 If you have calcium imbalances (seen in blood tests).
 If you have diabetes.
 If you cannot keep food or water in your body because of severe nausea and vomiting.
 If you have diarrhoea.
 If you are or become dehydrated.
 If you have imbalances of ions in your blood (electrolyte imbalances, seen in tests).
 If you have a history of eye problems as you may need extra monitoring of your eyes.
 If you have a severe skin reaction.
DPD deficiency: DPD deficiency is a rare condition present at birth that is not usually associated with
health problems unless you receive certain medicines. If you have an unrecognised DPD deficiency
and take capecitabine, you are at an increased risk of acute early-onset of severe forms of the side
effects listed under section 4 Possible side effects. Contact your doctor immediately if you are
concerned about any of the side effects or if you notice any additional side effects not listed in the
leaflet (see section 4 Possible side effects).
Children and adolescents
Capecitabine is not indicated in children and adolescents. Do not give capecitabine to children and
Other medicines and capecitabine
Before starting treatment, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking, have recently taken or
might take any other medicines. This is extremely important, as taking more than one medicine at the
same time can strengthen or weaken the effect of the medicines. You need to be particularly careful if
you are taking any of the following:
 gout medicines (allopurinol),
 blood-thinning medicines (coumarin, warfarin),
 certain anti-viral medicines (sorivudine and brivudine),
 medicines for seizures or tremors (phenytoin),
 interferon alpha,
 radiotherapy and certain medicines used to treat cancer (folinic acid, oxaliplatin, bevacizumab,
cisplatin, irinotecan),
 medicines used to treat folic acid deficiency.
Capecitabine with food
You should take capecitabine no later than 30 minutes after meals.
Pregnancy and breast-feeding

If you are pregnant or breast-feeding, think you may be pregnant or are planning to have a baby, ask
your doctor or pharmacist for advice before taking this medicine. You must not take capecitabine if
you are pregnant or think you might be. You must not breast-feed if you are taking capecitabine.
Driving and using machines
Capecitabine may make you feel dizzy, nauseous or tired. It is therefore possible that capecitabine
could affect your ability to drive a car or operate machines.

How to take capecitabine

Always take this medicine exactly as your doctor or pharmacist has told you. Check with your doctor
or pharmacist if you are not sure.
Capecitabine should only be prescribed by a doctor experienced in the use of anticancer medicines.
Capecitabine tablets should be swallowed whole with water and within 30 minutes of a meal.
Your doctor will prescribe a dose and treatment regimen that is right for you. The dose of
capecitabine is based on your body surface area. This is calculated from your height and weight. The
usual dose for adults is 1250 mg/m2 of body surface area taken two times daily (morning and
evening). Two examples are provided here: A person whose body weight is 64 kg and height is 1.64
m has a body surface area of 1.7 m2 and should take 4 tablets of 500 mg and 1 tablet of 150 mg two
times daily. A person whose body weight is 80 kg and height is 1.80 m has a body surface area of
2.00 m2 and should take 5 tablets of 500 mg two times daily.
Capecitabine tablets are usually taken for 14 days followed by a 7 day rest period (when no tablets are
taken). This 21 day period is one treatment cycle.
In combination with other medicinal products the usual dose for adults may be less than 1250 mg/m2
of body surface area, and you may need to take the tablets over a different time period (e.g. every day,
with no rest period).
Your doctor will tell you what dose you need to take, when to take it and for how long you need to
take it.
Your doctor may want you to take a combination of 150 mg and 500 mg tablets for each dose.
 Take the tablets in the morning and evening as prescribed by your doctor.
 Take the tablets within 30 minutes after the end of a meal (breakfast and dinner).
 It is important that you take all your medicine as prescribed by your doctor.
If you take more capecitabine than you should
If you take more capecitabine than you should, contact your doctor as soon as possible before taking
the next dose.
You might get the following side effects if you take a lot more capecitabine than you should: feeling
or being sick, diarrhoea, inflammation or ulceration of the gut or mouth, pain or bleeding from the
intestine or stomach, or bone marrow depression (reduction in certain kinds of blood cells). Tell your
doctor immediately if you experience any of these symptoms.
If you forget to take capecitabine
Do not take the missed dose at all and do not double the next one. Instead, continue your regular
dosing schedule and check with your doctor.
If you stop taking capecitabine

There are no side-effects caused by stopping treatment with capecitabine. In case you are using
coumarin anticoagulants (containing e.g. phenprocoumon), stopping capecitabine might require that
your doctor adjusts your anticoagulant dose.
If you have any further questions on the use of this medicine, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Possible side effects

Like all medicines, this medicine can cause side effects, although not everybody gets them.
STOP taking capecitabine immediately and contact your doctor if any of these symptoms occur:
 Diarrhoea: if you have an increase of 4 or more bowel movements compared to your normal
bowel movements each day or any diarrhoea at night.
 Vomiting: if you vomit more than once in a 24-hour time period.
 Nausea: if you lose your appetite, and the amount of food you eat each day is much less than
 Stomatitis: if you have pain, redness, swelling or sores in your mouth and/or throat.
 Hand-and-foot skin-reaction: if you have pain, swelling, redness or tingling of hands and/or
 Fever: if you have a temperature of 38 °C or greater.
 Infection: if you experience signs of infection caused by bacteria or virus, or other organisms.
 Chest pain: if you experience pain localised to the centre of the chest, especially if it occurs
during exercise.
 Stevens–Johnson syndrome: if you experience a painful red or purplish rash that spreads and
blisters and/or other lesions begin to appear in the mucous membrane (e.g. mouth and lips), in
particular if you had before light sensitivity, infections of the respiratory system (e.g. bronchitis)
and/or fever.
 DPD Deficiency: if you have a known DPD deficiency, you are at an increased risk of acute
early-onset of toxicity and severe, life-threatening, or fatal adverse reactions caused by
capecitabine (e.g. stomatitis, mucosal inflammation, diarrhoea, neutropenia, and neurotoxicity).
If caught early, these side effects usually improve within 2 to 3 days after treatment discontinuation. If
these side effects continue, however, contact your doctor immediately. Your doctor may instruct you
to restart treatment at a lower dose.
Hand and foot skin reaction can lead to loss of fingerprints, which could impact your identification by
fingerprint scan.
In addition to the above, when capecitabine is used alone, very common side effects which may affect
more than 1 in 10 people are:
 abdominal pain,
 rash, dry or itchy skin,
 tiredness,
 loss of appetite (anorexia).
These side effects can become severe; therefore, it is important that you always contact your doctor
immediately when you start to experience a side effect. Your doctor may instruct you to decrease the
dose and/or temporarily discontinue treatment with capecitabine. This will help reduce the likelihood
that the side effect continues or becomes severe.
Other side effects are:

Common side-effects (may affect up to 1 in 10 people) include:
 Decreases in the number of white blood cells or red blood cells (seen in tests).
 Dehydration, weight loss.
 Sleeplessness (insomnia), depression.
 Headache, sleepiness, dizziness, abnormal sensation in the skin (numbness or tingling sensation),
taste changes.
 Eye irritation, increased tears, eye redness (conjunctivitis).
 Inflammation of the veins (thrombophlebitis).
 Shortness of breath, nose bleeds, cough, runny nose.
 Cold sores or other herpes infections.
 Infections of the lungs or respiratory system (e.g.pneumonia or bronchitis).
 Bleeding from the gut, constipation, pain in the upper abdomen, indigestion, excess wind, dry
 Skin rash, hair loss (alopecia), skin reddening, dry skin, itching (pruritus), skin discolouration,
skin loss, skin inflammation, nail disorder.
 Pain in the joints, or in the limbs (extremities), chest or back.
 Fever, swelling in the limbs, feeling ill.
 Problems with liver function (seen in blood tests) and increased blood bilirubin (excreted by the
Uncommon side effects (may affect up to 1 in 100 people) include:
 Blood infection, urinary tract infection, infection of the skin, infections in the nose and throat,
fungal infections (including those of the mouth), influenza, gastroenteritis, tooth abscess.
 Lumps under the skin (lipoma).
 Decreases in blood cells including platelets, thinning of blood (seen in tests).
 Allergy.
 Diabetes, decrease in blood potassium, malnutrition, increased blood triglycerides.
 Confusional state, panic attacks, depressed mood, decreased libido.
 Difficulty speaking, impaired memory, loss of movement coordination, balance disorder,
fainting, nerve damage (neuropathy) and problems with sensation.
 Blurred or double vision.
 Vertigo, ear pain.
 Irregular heartbeat and palpitations (arrhythmias), chest pain and heart attack (infarction).
 Blood clots in the deep veins, high or low blood pressure, hot flushes, cold limbs (extremities),
purple spots on the skin.
 Blood clots in the veins in the lung (pulmonary embolism), collapsed lung, coughing up blood,
asthma, shortness of breath on exertion.
 Bowel obstruction, collection of fluid in the abdomen, inflammation of the small or large
intestine, the stomach or the oesophagus, pain in the lower abdomen, abdominal discomfort,
heartburn (reflux of food from the stomach), blood in the stool.
 Jaundice (yellowing of skin and eyes).
 Skin ulcer and blister, reaction of the skin with sunlight, reddening of palms, swelling or pain of
the face.
 Joint swelling or stiffness, bone pain, muscle weakness or stiffness.
 Fluid collection in the kidneys, increased frequency of urination during the night, incontinence,
blood in the urine, increase in blood creatinine (sign of kidney dysfunction).
 Unusual bleeding from the vagina.
 Swelling (oedema), chills and rigors.
Some of these side effects are more common when capecitabine is used with other medicines for the
treatment of cancer. Other side-effects seen in this setting are the following:
Common side effects (may affect up to 1 in 10 people) include:

Decrease in blood sodium, magnesium or calcium, increase in blood sugar.
Nerve pain.
Ringing or buzzing in the ears (tinnitus), loss of hearing.
Vein inflammation.
Hiccups, change in voice.
Pain or altered/abnormal sensation in the mouth, pain in the jaw.
Sweating, night sweats.
Muscle spasm.
Difficulty in urination, blood or protein in the urine.
Bruising or reaction at the injection site (caused by medicines given by injection at the same

Rare side effects (may affect up to 1 in 1,000 people) include:
 Narrowing or blockage of tear duct (lacrimal duct stenosis).
 Liver failure.
 Inflammation leading to dysfunction or obstruction in bile secretion (cholestatic hepatitis).
 Specific changes in the electrocardiogram (QT prolongation).
 Certain types of arrhythmia (including ventricular fibrillation, torsade de pointes, and
 Eye inflammation causing eye pain and possibly eyesight problems.
 Inflammation of the skin causing red scaly patches due to an immune system illness.
 Acute kidney failure secondary to dehydration.

Very rare side effects (may affect up to 1 in 10,000 people) include:

Severe skin reaction such as skin rash, ulceration and blistering which may involve ulcers of the
mouth, nose, genitalia, hands, feet and eyes (red and swollen eyes).
Toxic damage to the brain’s white matter (toxic leukoencephalopathy).

Reporting of side effects
If you get any side effects, talk to your doctor, pharmacist or nurse. This includes any possible side
effects not listed in this leaflet. You can also report side effects directly via the Yellow Card Scheme
By reporting side effects you can help provide more information on the safety of this medicine.

How to store capecitabine

Keep this medicine out of the sight and reach of children.
Do not store above 30 °C.
Do not use this medicine after the expiry date which is stated on the carton after EXP. The expiry date
refers to the last day of that month.
Do not throw away any medicines via wastewater or household waste. Ask your pharmacist how to
throw away medicines you no longer use. These measures will help protect the environment.

Contents of the pack and other information

What capecitabine contains
Capecitabine 150mg film-coated tablets
The active substance is capecitabine. Each film-coated tablet contains 150mg capecitabine.

Capecitabine 500mg film-coated tablets
The active substance is capecitabine. Each film-coated tablet contains 500mg capecitabine.
The other ingredients are:
 Tablet core: Croscarmellose sodium, Microcrystalline cellulose, Hypromellose, Silica colloidal
anhydrous, Magnesium stearate,
 Tablet coating: Hypromellose, Titanium dioxide (E171), Talc, Macrogol 400, Red iron oxide
(E172), Yellow iron oxide (E172).
What capecitabine looks like and contents of the pack
Capecitabine 150mg film-coated tablets
Light-peach oval film-coated tablets embossed with “150” on one side. Of approximate dimensions
11.4mm x 5.9mm.
Capecitabine 150mg film-coated tablet pack contains 60 film-coated tablets.
Capecitabine 500mg film-coated tablets
Peach, oblong capsule-shaped, film-coated tablets embossed with “500” on one side. Of approximate
dimensions 17.1mm x 8.1mm.
Capecitabine 500mg film-coated tablet pack contains 120 film-coated tablets.
Marketing Authorisation Holder and Manufacturer
Marketing Authorisation Holder:
Zentiva, One Onslow Street, Guildford, Surrey, GU1 4YS, UK
Remedica LTD, Aharnon Street, Limassol Industrial Estate, 3056 Limassol, Cyprus
This leaflet was last revised in August 2016.
’Zentiva’ is a registered trademark © 2016 Zentiva

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Source: Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency

Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided here is accurate, up-to-date and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. This information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States. The absence of a warning for a given drug or combination thereof in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. If you have questions about the substances you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.