Xeloda is a drug commonly used in the treatment of Stage IV breast cancer and sometimes used in earlier situations. Since it is a pill, it is generally well tolerated, and everyone likes not having to make weekly or biweekly trips to the hospital for IV drugs. It does, however, have some unique side effects that tend to cluster in two ways: GI upset and redness, or even blistering, on hands and feet. Like everything else, each woman's reaction is individual, and not everyone has these troubles. These are suggestions from women in my support group about ways to best manage taking Xeloda:
- I did not have unpleasant side effects other than some redness and peeling of hands and feet. I hope you are as successful as I was in respect of side effects and more sucessful in respect to holding back disease.
- I strongly recommend keeping your hands out of hot water. Washing dishes was especially irritating. Avoid hot tubs, etc. I also recommend using a very emollient cream on hands and feet. Wash your feet and put cream on with socks over them for bed. I didn't do it for my hands with gloves because my hands weren't as bad as my feet, but it's an option. I used Jason Vitamin E cream because I had it at home and it worked. I have heard bag balm is good. Ocean State Job Lot often has such products much cheaper than CVS, etc.
- My cuticles became very dry and fragile. Digging blindly into my purse for keys sometimes injured them. Burt's Bees cuticle cream helped; waxy, not greasy, and smells of lemon. Don't reach under the car seat or anywhere that your fingers can catch against unknown edges and objects. I always ate breakfast and never had nausea or heartburn, but I was taking daily extended release omeprazole for chronic acid reflux (pet scans confirmed hiatal hernia).
- I had some trouble with nausea, or at least quesiness, until I remembered oatmeal and yogurt. Always eating a small bowl of one or the other before taking the pills seemed to coat my stomach and relieved those feelings.
- My fingertips did become quite sore, and I was delighted to discover that there are gloves made that helped me continue to use my iPhone and iPad. Zappos is one of many retailers that carry them.