Bowel cancer treatment and side effects


Capecitabine- dissolving

I’m struggling to swallow the massive Capecitabine tablets and have decided to try dissolving them as my nurse suggested. They are very bitter. Has anybody got any tips?


The come in a smaller size Jenbo. Just ask the nurse. My husband takes these as he struggles with taking large tablets. Although it does mean you have to take quite a few. He takes 12 in the morning and again at night. Hope that helps!


They are 150mg btw. :x:


I struggled with the Capecitabine tablets too @Jenbo. I found fizzy drinks made it easier to swallow them whole. If you're dissolving them, the only suggestion I have is to have a strong tasting juice to drink alongside the tablets. It would be worth investigating the smaller tablets as @brighty08 suggested. Good luck :x::x:

Bear G

Hi @Jenbo
I know what you mean, they are huge aren’t they?

I really would recommend asking for smaller tablets as @brighty08 suggested, it means taking more tablets but they should be easier to swallow.

That’s unusual advice from your nurse, if you’re doing that I’d certainly suggest eating something substantial just beforehand to line your stomach.

Where are you in your cycle? If you’re only on you first few days then do call and ask if you could be dispensed the smaller tablets.

Big hugs


Thanks everybody for your suggestions and also now I don’t feel alone with my problem. I take four huge monster gigantic(!) 500 mg plus two manageable 150mg twice a day. I’m nearing the end of my third cycle of four. I’m very lucky to be able to have my chemo at home and realise how fortunate I am compared to others using this forum. The chemo is a mop up after a right hemi in January. I take them after a meal morning and evening and tried mixing them into some coffee as they both have a bitter taste plus a bit of sweetie after each gulp! What a wimp!! At my next appointment I’ll ask for all 150mg and if I can’t swallow those I know I can still dissolve them. I really appreciate your suggestions. This site is wonderful for support. Thank you and best wishes.


My husband initially tried dissolving then but found it really didn’t work. Definitely think the smaller ones are the way to go. Annoying thing you have to check when you pick up your prescription that they’ve given you the correct ones (before you get home!)


I struggled so much I have a problem with all tablets but this was worse I tried dissolving them but was still hard so what I did was get a small spoon and a glass of squash put the tablet in quickly swallow but often it got stuck in my throat so I would rub my throat as it was going down and it helped me so much probably sounds daft but was the only way I could get it down and it worked good luck


@Jenbo I used to really struggle with tablets, until I found out about the "lean-forward" method. It's counterintuitive, and completely different to the "head back like you are gargling" technique I think most of us go to. Here is an article on it:

Article also describes the "pop bottle technique", haven't tried that personally.


Thank you. I’ll give that a try later this morning. I’m sure they get bigger every day!