Reaction to capecitabine


Hi all, Firstly, i wish you all the very best with yr journey. I was diagnosed with stage 3 sigmoid cancer a few months ago. Surgery-the Dr's say, they are sure they got it all. Had 11 lymph nodes removed-1 showed positive for cancer. Have been on oxaliplatin & capecitabine, but didnt even make it through the 1st cycle. Made it to day 7 & developed rapid heartbeat & pain down my left arm. Had an angiogram & ECG which revealed my heart was fine but querying coronary spasm due to the capecitabine  (a danger not really told about it seems). Anyway, im wondering if anyone else has had similar experiences & one big question-if so-how long did it take for yr heart to recover to what was normal? Im on a medication now to slow my heart rate & dont get to see a cardiologist for 3 months. The plan is to start me on the oxaliplatin & a iv called raltitrexed  (which is apparently not supposed to have an affect on the heart). Has anyone had any experience with this drug as well? Feeling totally scared as i thought i was having a heart attack. I know we need to do these treatments to give us the best chance of getting rid of any of those "microscopic" bits that might be lurking, but ive put off my 2nd treatment for a month so i can hopefully recover. Dont think i could manage to go through another round of anything right at this moment. Thanks in advance. My prayers and thoughts go out to each of you.


  • Ruthmomto4
    Ruthmomto4 Member Posts: 708 Member
    I am so sorry that happened

    it has not happened here but i know one of the warnings they gave my  husband was any heart problems/ pain shut the pump off and disconnect it. So they did warn him, I hope you recover soon. 

  • Mikenh
    Mikenh Member Posts: 777
    I had Xeloda which is the

    I had Xeloda which is the pill form and the side-effects were very mild with me. They do a genetic test for people taking Xeloda/5FU because a small percentage of the population doesn't posess an enzyme to break it down to get rid of it and people without the enzyme can have fatal reactions. I have seen various side-effects reported with Xeloda/5FU including flutters (I had some of these from time to time but they were short in duration and I did have them before Xeloda too).

    Sorry that you had the bad reaction. It seems like the side-effects from these chemo drugs can have small effects on some people and large effects on others.

  • Lily Flower
    Lily Flower Member Posts: 260 Member
    edited November 2017 #4
    Sorry to hear you have some

    Sorry to hear you have some severe reaction from the chemo. I'm on the same chemo combo. Oxaliplatin every 3 weeks and Capecitabine for 2 weeks. Then 1 week off. My side effect to capecitabine is mainly nausea. The Oxaliplatin gives me the fatigue  I was bedridden for my first 2 treatments. On my 3rd treatment they reduced the dosage and it helped. While i still feel tired and no energy but I can move around. This lasts about a week after the infusion. Everyone has different reaction and side effects from the chemo. Discuss it with your oncologist and they might put you on another chemo that will suit you better. Good luck! 

  • Annabelle41415
    Annabelle41415 Member Posts: 6,742 Member
    edited November 2017 #5

    Sorry you are having this trouble.  I've been on the oxy but not the other drugs you have mentioned.  It's got to be hard when having trouble so early.  Wishing you the best going forward and hoping that you can get this under control.  Maybe the doctor can give you a different alternative to treatment.  They can always reduce the dose as well.


  • Joan M
    Joan M Member Posts: 409 Member
    Lin, thank you for posting about reactions!

    I had rapid and erratic heartbeats, while I was on Xeloda, but didn't know it was a side effect from the medicine.  You are right that they don't tell us all the side effects.  I was on it for over a year and had alot of heartburn type chest pain.  Also had the erratic heart beats and high blood pressure.  I am not on it anymore because my oncologist said it stopped working for me.  

    He wants me to go on the Folfiri combo.  I am not looking forward to carrying that bag around every two weeks for the rest of my life.  I sure wish they could come up with a different delivery method for the 5FU. I'm seeking a secong opinion at MD Anderson. 

    Hope things go better for you.


  • Bellen
    Bellen Member Posts: 281 Member
    edited November 2017 #7
    Joan - Folfiri

    Hello Joan - Just wanted to remind you that I am on avastin + folfiri (CRC with multiple liver mets - no surgery).  I have had 27 treatments and right now having 2 month break to recoup.  Larger tumours had shown shrinkage and not so many smaller ones showing in CT scan so far.  Not sure what will happen with my longer break that I am having - will have CT scan before starting chemo again.  Plan is to stay on same chemo folfiri when I go back.