Xeloda: see about medication for the treatment of cancer

Chemotherapy consists of the use of drugs capable of destroying the diseased cells that form the tumor. There are several ways to administer these drugs, such as topically, orally (tablets) or by injections or application (intravenous, intramuscular, subcutaneous, intracraneal).

As the substance is carried by the bloodstream, it acts throughout the body (systemic treatment). In general, its affinity is greater with cancerous or diseased cells, but it can also affect healthy cells.

Therefore, it is common for the adverse effects of chemotherapy to be reported with great frequency and more severe compared to other drug treatments.

Among the options used to treat some types of cancer is Xeloda. Find out more about it and the indications for use:


What is Xeloda?

Xeloda is a medicine sold in tablets, which has the active substance Capecitabine. It is used to treat patients with breast , colon, rectum and gastric cancer under specific conditions.

The drug action prevents the growth of tumor or cancer cells, and may be an option even when previous treatments have not had an effect.

Thus, Xeloda is part of chemotherapy drugs, due to its antineoplastic action. The time, times and use – single or combined with other substances – require medical evaluation, taking into account the patient’s clinical status and also the type of cancer.

What is Xeloda for?

According to Oncoguia, capecitabine is an antimetabolite. This means that it acts by interfering or chemically blocking the synthesis of DNA and RNA. The drug can be used to treat breast, colon and rectal cancer, in addition to gastric cancer.

Learn more about these conditions:

Breast cancer

Breast cancer mainly affects women. Xeloda, along with docetaxel , can be indicated for patients with locally advanced or metastatic breast cancer (which has started to spread to other parts of the body), in cases where the person has already undergone chemotherapy with anthracycline (another type chemotherapy medication).

In some cases, Xeloda can be used alone, when there is some contraindication for joint use with other cancer drugs.

Gastric cancer (stomach)

In cases of advanced gastric cancer, Xeloda can be combined with other substances, such as cisplatin or oxaliplatin , being the first line of treatment for the disease.

Colon cancer (large intestine)

Xeloda can be used alone or in conjunction with other substances in people undergoing surgery to treat colon cancer.

Colorectal cancer

In patients with metastatic colorectal cancer (that is, it has spread to other parts of the body), Xeloda can be used alone (monotherapy) or in conjunction with other medications, such as oxaliplatin or combined with oxilaplatin and bevacizumab .

Does Xeloda cure cancer?

Xeloda is considered a cytotoxic medicine, which means that it inhibits cell growth (division), preventing the spread of cancer and destroying diseased cells. Thus, depending on the type of disease, the stage and the body’s response to therapy, it is possible that the disease will be cured.

What is the active ingredient?

The active substance in Xeloda is Capecitabine , a derivative of fluoropyrimidine carbamate. The drug is made to be administered orally. After ingestion, it is metabolized in the liver, acting with more specificity in the tissues affected by cancer.

It acts by interfering in the synthesis and function of DNA and also that of RNA, albeit to a lesser extent.

The ideal is that the administration is always done after meals.

The adverse effects of Capecitabine are, in most cases, mild or moderate, and are usually well tolerated. However, it is still pointed out that capecitabine can have cumulative effects on the body.

That is, as the treatment is carried out, the adverse symptoms may become stronger, aggravating the patients’ malaise. In some cases, pauses between use can cause these symptoms to regress or cease, as long as there is a medical recommendation.

Is Xeloda generic?

Yes. Capecitabine, the active substance in Xeloda, has the generic version, which is Capecitabine Sun Pharma 500mg , sold in boxes with 120 coated tablets.

In addition to the generic, there are also similar drugs, such as Capecare , Coama , Capeliv , Corretal .

Both similar and generic versions are analyzed and have proven effects, however, it is always important to talk to the medical team and analyze the possibilities of using non-reference drugs.

What are the side effects of Xeloda?

As with the use of any other medication, treatment with Xeloda can trigger adverse symptoms. It is worth remembering that they do not always occur and, when they do, they may have different intensity and duration, usually being more intense in the first 3 days of use. But in general, the most common are:

  • Loss of appetite;
  • Diarrhea;
  • Vomiting;
  • Estomatitis;
  • Abdominal pain;
  • Swelling;
  • Redness of the skin;
  • Tiredness and drowsiness.

Less common, but still possible, are: fever , weakness, reduced muscle strength, intestinal changes, skin rashes, vertigo and headache.


There is no indication in the package leaflet that Xeloda can cause changes in the weight of those who use the medication. However, it is worth remembering that each organism responds differently to substances, which may have implications for body mass.

It is possible to have swelling or, on the contrary, weight loss can occur due to secondary factors. This last case is usually due to nausea and vomiting that are among the adverse effects, making it difficult for the patient to eat properly.

Is Xeloda approved by Anvisa?

Yes. The drug Xeloda is approved by Anvisa, being classified in the category of antineoplastic drugs.

Price and where to buy?

Xeloda can be found in physical pharmacies, as well as consulted on online networks and price search engines.

Average prices vary according to the dosage, and can be *:

  • Xeloda 500mg, box with 120 coated tablets : from R $ 1,490 to R $ 3,400;
  • Xeloda 150mg, box with 60 coated tablets : from R $ 329 to R $ 540.

* Prices consulted in November 2019. Prices may vary.

Is Xeloda good for liver cancer?

Chemotherapy for liver cancer patients is quite complex, as in most cases the disease resists treatment.

According to a publication of ESMO’s Clinical Practice Recommendations (Europe Society for Medical Oncology), some pictures treated with Xeloda may show reduced growth and spread of the disease, improving the quality of life of the patients, but still providing few effective responses.

However, recent studies have pointed out that some therapeutic regimens demonstrate better effects and actions in patients, such as the combination of capecitabine and oxaliplatin (XELOX).

In addition, Xeloda has no official indication , on the label or approved by ANVISA, for use in treatments for liver cancer.

Radiotherapy can also be combined, in order to optimize the effects of treatment. However, the difficulty in controlling or treating liver disease is still great.

Xeloda is a drug used to control and treat some types of cancer. Its action has demonstrated good effectiveness for improving well-being in patients affected by the disease.

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