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Hand/Foot Syndrome from Capecitabine Treatments
7 Posts

Hi everyone,

I have mTNBC and am on my 5th line of treatment. This time it's capecitabine. It looks to me as those I'm getting the common side effect called the hand/foot syndrome. BC Cancer just advises udder cream. Has anyone tried anything else with any success? Thanks.

8 Replies

@JoanEA While I can't speak from experience, I did some research and found the following discussion that might be helpful to you.

#capecitabine #sideeffects

1 Posts

For his feet, husband had the most success with Bag Balm (sold at Lee Valley Tools), and wore cotton socks 24/7 throughout treatment. Application after showers and/or as needed. He also always wore slippers in the house which helped.

He tried many hand creams and had the most success with the Eucerin brand during the day and on occasion would apply Bag Balm before bed and wore cotton gloves to help saturation and avoid greasy sheets.

Hope this helps! 🤞🏼

119 Posts

Hi @JoanEA

I developed Hand-Foot Syndrome while on A/C. My feet were painful, calloused and started to peel and I developed ulcers on two of my toes. My hands were very sensitive to touch, especially heat and cold. Because of this, my next chemo was reduced from dose dense to a lower-dose weekly Paclitaxel. On the advice of my oncologist, I used Urea cream 2-3 times a day on my feet. You need to apply it gently - not rub it in because you don’t want to create friction - but lots of it. Then I just put socks on over it.

There are a number of things you can do to help it:

- Limit exposure to hot water or heat on your hands and feet, especially in the shower. I took cool showers and wore flip-flops on my feet.

- Use ice packs on your hands and feet.

- Slather cream on your hands and cover with white cotton gloves, especially at night.

- Wear rubber gloves when using cleaning products.

- Try to avoid doing anything that makes you press your hands against a hard surface such as cutting with knives, opening jars etc.

- Don’t go barefoot

By being really diligent, I was able to stop it from progressing any further and complete my treatment. The Urea cream I used was UriSec Therapeutic Moisturizer 22%.

Hope this helps!

7 Posts

Thanks @cancertakesfllight. I really appreciate the time you spent researching this.

21 Posts


I was on Cape for 8 cycles / I am TNBC Stage 2 and it was prescribed because I didn't have PCR status after surgery. I had hand foot syndrome throughout the course of my treatment. I agree with all the advice @Littlebeth has provided. Friction is not your friend with HFS. I started using Urea Cream but found Aquafor (Eucerin) to be the best moisturizer for me. I needed a few pauses/dose reductions to get it right on Cape. My oncologist assured me that this does not impact the effects of the drug and that people metabolize the drug differently. My best advise is to check in with your team the minute you experience any side effects. I made the mistake of trying to gut it out and ended up with worse side effects than if I had flagged them immediately. Also, there is a FaceBook group that was enormously helpful for me while I was on Cape. Tips and tricks, what to eat and not to eat.

Note, not everyone has side effects from Cape. Loads of people can tolerate with no side effects. Hoping this is the case for you and wishing you good health.

7 Posts

Thank you @PS2020 for the tips. I've asked to join the FB Group and I have bought the cream that worked best for you. Early days for me so don't know what will work best for me.

107 Posts

Hi @JoanEA i was on capecitabine for a year. I did experience the dry and painful feet. I strongly recommend LA-ROCHE POSAY it kept the dryness at bay. Also a little tip that really helped me is foot massages. It really helped with the pain and was able to walk better. Maybe you have a loved one that could do that for you ?

7 Posts

Thanks @Cupcakes. I will definitely try both La-Roche Posay and foot massages – which I adore with our without Capecitabine!!

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