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Xeloda vs. Folfox

Posts: 56
Joined: Oct 2009

Hi Everybody,
Haven't posted in a while but have been lurking. Just to update you, I've finished 8 tx with Folfox but had 2 postponements due to low platelet count. Dr. cut dosage of Oxali twice but the side effects were still the same. I'm now contemplating stopping my infusion all together and going on Xeloda for the remaining treatments. The oxali is really doing a number on me but the worst is my skippy heartbeats. It never goes away so I'm seeing my cardiologist to get an opinion on whether the chemo is causing it. If so, I probably won't have a choice and will stop the infusion. My onc says the decision is mine to make but I know he prefers that I continue with the Folfox although he says the side effect of Xeloda are not too bad. Is that true? Should I get scans done before I make this decision to make sure there are no tumors lurking? You guys are the only ones that can give me intelligent advice and I sure do appreciate it.

abrub's picture
Posts: 2158
Joined: Mar 2010

When we discussed Xeloda versus infused 5FU, my drs preferred the infusion, even after I dropped the Oxaliplatin. Their feeling was that they knew exactly how much medication was getting into my bloodstream via the IV, versus an approximation based on oral dosing (how much was processed where in the digestive tract.)

With that in mind, both options are very good, and you'll want to work with your drs to see what they feel is best for you.

I stayed on infusion (but only lasted 7 cycles.)

abrub's picture
Posts: 2158
Joined: Mar 2010

Deleted double post

Posts: 1961
Joined: Aug 2003

Hi Laureen,

It's a tough call. Your onc is right: it is your call. But you are smart to ask his opinion and also to seek out the advice/experience of others.

I did FOLFOX 3 different times. It is a wonderful/miracle drug -- but the side effects of oxaliplatin are rough -- as we know. It will be good to get the input from the cardiologist. I carried on with the folfox even after I was having 'allergic reactions' (dramatic rash - controlled with steroids/antihistamines) -- as well as the usual hassles with oxi like neuropathy, etc. But eventually I did have to stop -- ahead of schedule, on the last two occasions.

The decision about 5FU versus xeloda is a somewhat different one, it seems to me. One issue is the effectiveness of the drug (controversial -- some people say it's about the same -- you may want to check this out with your 'team'). A second issue is "quality of life" . I'm afraid I have, over the years, developed a psychological dread of the 48 drip and greatly preferred the pill. A third issue is side effects. Different for everyone. For me, 5FU involved relatively mild nausea, diarrhea, fatigue. Xeloda involved some stomach cramps/diarhea, less fatigue (I think?) but some medium-to-serious foot issues (peeling skin, soreness). I like to walk/hike, so that was a factor for me. On balance, I preferred the xeloda (pill) -- but that's a very individual call. I wish you every good luck with your decision making and your progress.


Posts: 211
Joined: May 2009

My Onc said that Xeloda is as effective as 5 fu. I find the Xeloda to be much more tolerable for me as far as side effects go. I do have the dry cracked hands and feet, but I am still able to hike etc. Good Luck. Brenda

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