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Chemo - nausea

gerbil runner

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Mom had her first chemo yesterday - cpt-11 and cisplatin. Today, neither the breakfast eggs nor lunch potato stayed down. Chicken soup for supper seems to be staying put. She had attivan, and some kind of suppository for nausea. Any "veterans" have ideas on what to try for food? She's drinking plenty of water, so dehydration isn't an issue at this point.

Her next chemo is Tuesday - only one of the drugs (I don't know which). Will the nausea get worse with more chemo? She also had trouble sleeping last night. Is that unusual? She does have meds for sleeping. TIA for the advice.


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It is hard to say what may or may not work. Ativan worked for me but then again I had a different chemo regime. Maybe stay away from fried food in the morning? Try oatmeal or something that doesn't have the oils? It is all a learning experience. You may just have to keep trying things till you find what works. I would also ask the Dr. if there is something else she can take.

I will be praying for your Mom and family.

God Bless,


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I know with my Mother it took us until her last couple of treatments to finally curb the nausea completley. From the very beginning of her treatment she would get a "cocktail" before the actual chemo drugs. This cocktail consisted of Decadron, Anzment, Benedryl. It seemed to help but usually a couple days after treatment was when we saw the nausea. I can list what anti nausea drugs seemed to work best for her. Certainly something the doctor could let you know if any of them may help.

Anzment 100 mg - Worked very well she took this 4 days after chemo every morning.

Reglan (not sure on the mg) - Enhanced the Anzment she took this 4 days after chemo as well. Once in the morning and once in the afternoon.

Decadron ( again not sure of the mg) - Also enhanced the Anzment she took this 4 days after chemo twice a day. Once in the morning and once in the afternoon.

Zofran (not sure on mg) - She took this after her first 4 days and it was stonger for her than the Compazine. She used this if she felt a big wave of nausea.

Compazine- She took this as needed after her 4 days after chemo were up. This was used as needed if she felt any nausea coming on.

Kytril 100 mg- This is another anti-nausea medicine. I've heard it's just as powerful as Zofran or Anzment, however it didn't do much for my Mom.

Scapolomine Patch - This is a patch normally wore by individuals with motion sickness. It is a patch that is put behind the ear. She did very well with this in conjuction with everything else, the only down side is that it can cause blurred vision.

Besides all this I had found some literature on Emend which is supposed to enhance the chemo drugs. She would get one before she started the chemo itself and then take one Saturday morning ( Her Chemo was always on Fridays)

We also found that if she came back in on Saturday mornings and had 2 liters of saline it did wonders in controlling the nauseau and keeping her from getting dehydrated. We also did notice not to mention that the doctor told us don't let her body get too empty. By not having enough food in your stomach it will cause you nausea. Mom always kept something in her tummy whether it be a piece of string cheese or crackers. Where ever we went she had a baggy of these goodies so her stomach would never become empty.

Nausea was worse to Mom than any pain she had ever experienced so as you can see we tried just about everything. My research had indicated that different anti nausea drugs work differently for each person so you may find relief from something else. Make sure to ask the doctor if you interested in finding out anymore about these drugs. The insurance companies are very regulated on how much they will prescribe She would only get fill of 7 anzments in a 3 week period because of the once every 3 week cycle she was on for chemo.

I know I went off on a tagent but I hope it helps!


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Heather, the oncologist prescribed Zofran for my Mom and she never got nauseated at all. She only had two rounds of Carboplatin & Etoposide but it really knocked her down and she has been in the hospital twice for about five days each time. Mostly for fluids because she got dehydrated. She was not eating much and was weak, also. She seems to slowly be getting better and is getting out of hospital tomorrow. She was very restless and couldn't sleep also for a couple days about a week after treatment. She cannot tolerate the doses of chemo she got, though, and I will have to talk to oncologist about modifying. She has limited stage SCLC. She has had about 15 radiation treatments and her tumor has shrunk over half already. So that is good news as the tumor filled almost her whole left lung. The nurses told me that the Zofran is stronger than the Compazine.


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Thanks for the replies. I'm going to check what Mom's taking and if today is the same as yesterday, call the dr. for reinforcements. Is Ensure a possibility? Or would it be too much like dairy? Mom lost 12-15 lbs. in the hospital, and although she's far from thin, she feels weakened. I want to nip this in the bud.

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Hi Jen,

My husband started out on the same chemo regimen as your mom. He experience very little nausea with it, as long as he received anti-nausea meds during chemo through the IV. He was give Decadron in the IV and one pill a day for 5 days following. He also took Emend for the first three days of treatment. I have heard wonderful things about Emend, and I would have to agree with them. It worked great!!!

The other thing to remember is that anti-nausea drugs work to prevent nausea, but once you have it, they do little to cure it. That is not in their nature. Make sure your mom takes the meds first thing in the morning before nausea starts. Keith would take his meds before getting out of bed. He kept them on the nightstand with a glass of water.

Make sure mom is hydrated well. It's amazing because we always thought Keith drank a lot of water, but chemo drugs are very dehydrating, and a person going through treatment needs to take in more fluids than the average person.

She can also try eating more often but small amounts. It sometimes helps to never let the stomach get completely empty as stomach acids can be hard on the system.

As far as foods go, we were told upon getting this chemo combo that we should avoid foods that were high in fat, sugars, caffeine and spices. These foods are harder for the stomach to digest and therefore product higher quantities of acid. It's difficult to avoid, especially as chemo sometimes creates a bad taste in the mouth and the desire is to eat something with a strong flavor to cover the metallic taste.

Keith LOVED ice cream and shakes when he felt nauseous. They were filling, yet really soothed his stomach. He also ate a lot of pasta, just the plain noodles. Also buy some ensure, it is very easily digested and can make up for loss of nutrients that happens when they don't eat as much due to nausea.

Malnutrition is a serious issue for cancer patients. There is a large percentage of patients who die, not from their disease, but malnutrition. Although your mom may be nauseous, please work with her and persuade her to try various things until you find something she can handle. There is nothing wrong with eating one thing for every meal every day. As long as she is eating something.

Also, if her appetite slips too much, ask the doctor about magace. It is a medication which is meant to boost the appetite.

God Bless,


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Hi Jen,

Can't add much to what Carleen already said. I had taken Zofran three times a day for nausea for about 7 months, through the chemos and the surgeries, I was also extensively premedicated before the chemo for nausea with atavan and zofran. I didn't have any steroids, so I didn't have trouble sleeping.

I did have trouble with acid reflux, and took (like nexium) daily for almost a year. Had a lot of trouble with mouth sores. I took shakes, Scandia shakes, with milk and a bit of ice cream they can get almost 900 calories. I'd split them, though, drink half at a time. Things did taste odd, metallic, for a long time, so while I could eat, I didn't enjoy as I normally would.

Didn't have any trouble with dairy. Drank a lot of water, kept a sports bottle at my elbow all the time, room temperature.

I did eat light, and did nap a lot, took it very very easy most of the time.

Drank a lot of ensure.

At some point the weight loss should stabilize, and your mom should start to get her stomach back a bit. I also took megace for a while.

Good luck when your mom comes home.

You're both in my prayers,


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