Xeloda Uses

How Does Xeloda Work?

Xeloda is a unique chemotherapy medication. In the body, it is transformed into 5-FU (fluorouracil). Fluorouracil is a chemotherapy medication that is given intravenously (by IV). Fluorouracil cannot be given by mouth because it does not absorb well from the digestive tract into the body. Xeloda was developed as a way for fluorouracil to be given orally. When Xeloda is taken by mouth, it is easily absorbed into the body. The body then transforms Xeloda to fluorouracil, providing all the benefits of fluorouracil without the need of an IV.
Fluorouracil works in at least two different ways. Fluorouracil interferes with a cell's ability to make new DNA (molecules that contain the cell's genetic information). In order to multiply, cells need to make new DNA. By interfering with DNA production, fluorouracil stops cells from multiplying. Enzymes in cells also mistakenly use fluorouracil when building important parts of the cell that are responsible for making proteins (which causes these parts to stop functioning).
Together, these two actions can cause permanent damage to cells, including healthy non-cancerous cells. However, cancer cells divide more rapidly, producing more DNA and proteins, and are therefore more affected by Xeloda. Also, cancer cells often have higher levels of the enzyme that transforms Xeloda into fluorouracil, which helps Xeloda to have a greater effect in cancer cells compared to normal cells.

Xeloda Uses in Children

Xeloda is not approved to treat cancer in children or adolescents. Talk to your healthcare provider about the benefits and risks of using Xeloda in children or adolescents.

Off-Label Xeloda Uses

On occasion, your healthcare provider may recommend Xeloda for something other than the conditions listed in this article. At this time, there are no universally accepted off-label Xeloda uses.
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Xeloda Drug Information

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