The Xeloda website, as well as chemocare.com specifically say NOT to crush or break the tablets.
After reading the post about not touching the tablets, I called my local pharmacist and a friend of ours who is the head pharmacist at the hospital. BOTH said that there is nothing wrong with the PATIENT touching the Xeloda tablets. Agreed, other people shouldn't go around handling the pills, but the patient is taking the Xeloda and it doesn't hurt them to touch the pills.
Everyone is correct. The pills are not small. And, they are not the slippery kind of pills either. You could try taking them in appleasauce or anything else that might help them go down. In addition, make sure you take them within 30 minutes AFTER the end of a meal. This was told to me by the pharmacist and is specifically spelled out on the Xeloda website. I am not sure why, but I was very specifically told not to take them WITH the meal, but after the meal was over.
You do have the option, like the other posters have stated, of taking the infused 5FU. However, that also involves a port (if you don't already have one) and on protocols like FOLFOX, the infused also means a pump for 48 hours. You have to weigh all of those factors against each other and really see if you can swallow the pills. Remember, the dosage varies, but most patients take anywhere between 3-4 pills both in the morning AND in the evening. (In other words, you are looking at 6-8 pills a day!)
Dx 6/22/2006 IIA rectal cancer
6 wks rad/Xeloda -finished 9/06
1st attempt transanal excision 11/06
11/17/06 XELOX 1 cycle
5 months Xeloda only Dec '06 - April '07
10+ blood clots, 1 DVT 1/07
transanal excision 4/20/07 path-NO CANCER CELLS!
NED now and forever!
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