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Normal side effects are not the same as a toxic reaction.1-7

Understand the difference and protect yourself.

Signs of a toxic reaction to chemotherapy can be mistaken for normal side effects, but they are very different and may result in serious and life-threatening consequences.1-5


What do normal side effects feel like? 3, 6, 7

  • Normal side effects usually begin a week or so after the end of 5-FU infusion or capecitabine treatment
  • Symptoms associated with normal side effects are considered to be mild to moderate, which means that they feel less intense and occur less frequently
  • Normal side effects feel uncomfortable but should also feel manageable

What do dangerous toxic reactions feel like? 1-11

  • Dangerous toxic reactions usually begin early, during or within a couple days after the first or second round of 5-FU infusion or capecitabine treatment
  • Symptoms of a toxic reaction are considered to be severe which means that they feel intense and occur more frequently than normal side effects
  • Symptoms of a toxic reaction feel debilitating or unbearable

Get the facts on chemotherapy toxicity

Are you being treated with 5-FU or capecitabine chemotherapy?5-8

  • 5-FU (5-fluorouracil) is a chemotherapy medicine that is given to people with breast, colorectal (bowel), gastric (stomach), and pancreatic cancer.6
  • Capecitabine is a chemotherapy medicine given to people with breast and colorectal cancer.7
  • 5-FU and capecitabine may be given alone or in combination with other chemotherapy drugs, such as these*.
    • FOLFOX
    • FLOX
    • CapeOX
    • XELOX

*This is not a complete list of chemotherapy combinations that include 5-FU or capecitabine.

Trusted chemotherapy with common side effects 6, 7

5-FU and capecitabine are trusted chemotherapies received by thousands of patients with a history of success.


Toxic reactions can cause serious effects such as heart attack, heart failure, seizure, and coma. 4, 10, 16-18

Vistogard® is the first and only fast acting emergency treatment for 5-FU and capecitabine toxicity.1, 2, 19

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