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leg cramps after chemo


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my brother has been having cramps from his waist down. he just had second chemo treatment. The first time his legs cramped up while he was having the treatment. This time the cramping started a day after the treatment. has anyone else experienced this? any advice?

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Guest Cheryl Schaefer

My husband experienced the very same. It did ease with time. Told to take a non aspirin substitute to help with the temporary pain.

Aloha, Cheryl

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Aside from drinking lots of water, the only other thing I can think of that would affect leg cramping would be maybe potassium levels. Ask the doctors if the electrolyte balance was okay -- sp. Calcium, Potassium, and Sodium. The homespun treatment is to eat bananas, which are high in potassium.

Drinking lots of water will help flush the chemo out of the muscles, as will exercise like just plain slow walking if he can tolerate that.

Hope he feels better real quick!

Warm Regards,


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My strategy for the leg pains/cramps are:

1) TONS of water, every day, regardless of where you are in the chemo cycle.

2) 200 mg. Celebrex twice a day. There is some evidence that the addition of up to 800 mg. a day actually helps the Carbo/Taxol to shrink the tumor, too!

3) 100-200 mg. of B6 every day. This is more to ward off peripheral neuropathy (nerve damage manifesting in numbness, tingling and pain in the extremities), but my doc says it helps with the other pain, too.

4) Be careful about OTC pain relievers. It's my understanding that anything that could interfere with blood clotting may be trouble, which rules out aspirin and ibuprofen. Aleve did nothing for me when I tried it post-op, and Tylenol (acetaminophen) has *never* helped me. So, ask for some of the narcotic stuff *without* the Tylenol.

Generic oxycodone or hydrocodone works for me, in moderation, on an as-needed basis. I think it could be counterproductive to take this stuff combined with Tylenol (including Percocet, Vicodin, Tylox) since Tylenol can cause liver trouble, and the liver needs to be working at optimum levels to process the chemo!

Hope this helps!


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Good question, David. When my daughter was about 8 months old and still nursing, I put her in bed between us on a Saturday morning when we both wanted to sleep a little more. Curtis rolled over facing her and she evidently wondered why men have nipples too. I found it funnier than he did--she had a powerful little suction method, and he didn't think it was a very nice way to wake up!


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Thank you all! I am so grateful for all the advice everyone on this site shares. Everyone is so caring and so understanding. I had not read anything about leg cramps until I inquired in my post and although it saddened me that this is one more awful symptom many have to deal with I hope that your advice will also help others who might be experiencing this. Praying daily for patients and caretakers on this site.

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