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Diarrhea Control


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Hi Y'all. I am looking for help with diarrhea control. Maurice is using 4 to 6 Lomitils a day & it's not helping much. His body may be getting used to them as he's been taking them since previous colon cancer in 1992. We think this is the wrath of Tarceva. Do any of you have any tips re meds, foods etc that would help. We spoke to the onc today and she had no new ideas. You would think with all the oxycontin he's taking that constipation would be a problem but that just hasn't happened. Any help/tips would be appreciated


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I will be watching the replies with interest as my mom also has problems with diarrhea. It started about the same time she began the Tarceva. Between the diarrhea and the fatigue, I'm wondering if we should request that the doctor try a lower dosage of the Tarceva. She's taking 150 mg. I've seen several people on here that take 100mg or less.


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Jill, does she take her Tarceva in the am or pm? Maurice was taking it in the am and the fatigue was so bad he was spending most of the day in bed. 4 oclock in the afternoon was when he seemed to start getting stronger. When we saw the onc 3 weeks ago she said ok to take at night and hopefully sleep through most of the fatigue. It has helped some, although he still is tired, just not quite as much as when he took it in the am.

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I took Iressa for two months and had the diarrhea side effect. Somehow, the simple word "diarrhea" just does not begin to describe what happened to my bowels...

I would suggest taking fiber, like FiberCon tablets and keeping the water going. It's too easy to get dehydrated when everything is rushing through like that.

Nothing worked for me, was removed from the trial because of the side effects. Adding "bulk" to the diet may slow it down some, though.

Good luck!

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My husband had bad diarrhea

from one medication, he took

''Imodium'' that took care of

it in two days (2 tablets after

each bout of it) acted fast.

Later he had the reversed condition

with another medication and he took

''Senokot'' and ''Colace'' for


I use Senokot and Colace for the

constipation brought on by the

Oxycontin, four years on it is


Good idea about getting chemo late

in the day, the sleep pattern is more




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My doctor suggested Metamucil, multiple times per day, to bulk up stools - Same as Becky. I was also taking imodium as often as needed and managed to control it with 1/2 to 1 pill a day. I'm not sure if that is the same as the medicine he's already taking? Sorry not more help.


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Hi Wendy,

Sorry Maurice is having such problems with diarrhea now. I had the same problem following my last Taxotere treatment to the point that I was taking between 6 and 8 Imodium a day. I also received a monthly injection of Sandostatin ($2500 a shot), but that didn't help, still needed the Imodium. Started Tarceva 150 about a month after those problems started. Tarceva didn't increase the problem.

I went for all kinds of blood tests, stool samples, etc., and after a colonoscopy, I found out that I developed ulcerative colitis (my theory is that lowered blood counts, Levaquin, and the anxiety caused by treatment brought it on, but my GI says no known cause). I lost about 30 pounds in the 3 months that the diarrhea was out of control and felt worse than I ever did from chemo.

Now I eat an Activia yogurt every morning, take a probiotic called Florastor twice a day, and a RX called Asacol, and the diarrhea has not been a problem since last September. Keeping my fingers crossed that it stays that way.

Good luck to you guys getting this problem under control. It will make all the difference in the world to Maurice.

Take care,


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Thanks for the tips so far. Lomotil, which he takes, is the prescription strenghth of over the counter immodium & according to the onc there is nothing stronger. I had a friend with colitis who was prescribed the anti depressant elavil for it's 'off label' use for diarrhea. It worked like a charm for her & she hasn't needed it since. She was running to the bathroom every 15 minutes. The onc said elavil is an old drug but we insisted on trying it anyway. So far today no improvement, but he just started on it yesterday. I'll let you know. I was also told cheese will 'bind' you. Any comments on that or any other foods that help. Many thanx


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My dad had to take Kwestron to bulk up his stool...it did not work for him as hoped, but it does help some folks. Seems counterproductive to add fiber because it's what helps constipation, yer ironically, it helps the diarrhea as well. Liquid immodium worked a bit better for Dad, because his digestive tract had little time to dissolve the pills. But don't go trying several remedies at once, or you'll never know what worked and what didn't! And always consult a doctor first.

Often the oncologists do not provide great recommendations for these side effects. You might benefit from an inquiry to the PCP (primary care physician) or ask to see a digestive diseases specialist. And who knows? Someone here had success with lowering the dose of Tarceva! Ask the onc about that, too!

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Finally something I can actually help with!

I have Crohn's Disease, so diet and "D" are a big part of my life! :x:oops:

Vanilla Yogurt, (Yoplait is a decent brand), cooked white rice, very ripe bananas, rice pudding (if you can make it with less sugar then the recipe calls for), cooked oatmeal, Cream of Rice (hot cereal), crackers (white saltines), and toast, with very little butter. And Tea, either hot or iced, for drinks....

I would avoid too much fiber, although that's hard to do, I know.

Lomotil and Imodium can sometimes be mixed, but you would have to ask the doctor about that. (I can take 1 Lomotil, then if it doesn't help within about an hour, I can take an Imodium). Not something you would want to do without asking your doctor though, because you could end up with a blockage.

If I think of any other foods, I'll repost.

Good luck to him... it's not fun to have a "belly ache", on top of everything else... :cry:

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I have been taking Tarceva for 22 months. I have no problem with diarrhea. The two things that I take that may help me are oatmeal and Citrucel. I have a bowl of steal cut oatmeal with a pint of blueberries every morning. I take 4 Citrucel with breakfast and 4 with dinner. The label says you can take up to 12 a day. I hope this will help. Citrucel you can get in any drug store or Wal-Mart.

Stay positive, and regular :)


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