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Supplements to avoid while on chemo?


GramaA

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Good day! First, I’m not a doctor nor do I claim to know the following to be true. I just want to ask a question and see if anyone has any clear answers. ❤️

I’ve read, while on chemo, one should not drink Green Tea or take Fish Oil; that it could interfere with chemo. Does anyone know if these are true facts? Also, does anyone know of a reliable site that lists medications/vitamins/supplements, etc. that shouldn’t be taken while on chemo? I do plan on asking my infusion doctor, but I wanted a head start.

Thanks all!!

A~

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I was told to stop Fish Oil and Vitamin C (other than what's in a multivitamin). Also, studies have shown beta carotene supplements can risk lung cancer growth. Green tea is something nobody has ever mentioned to me--I drink it all the time. 

My oncologist goes over ALL my meds and supplements every visit. I never start taking anything new without letting them know. There's no reason you should have to research any of this stuff yourself. Your local pharmacist should also be a reliable source for any concerns about interactions. 

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OK, before you "guess" what may or may not interfere with chemotherapy, you need to have a very in depth discussion with your Oncologist about that. It seems to me they should have already done that with you. There are definitely things that you cannot have while on chemotherapy and you need to know what those things are...with no guesswork involved. And those things that may interfere with chemotherapy are different depending on chemotherapy regimen, person, etc. For that reason you will most likely not find anything online about drug interactions...and even if you did, I wouldn't trust that anyway. Chemotherapy is serious stuff and that means no guessing and no playing; you could do yourself a lot of serious harm if you are wrong...

Take my advice...talk to your Dr. about everything; other drugs you take, prescription or over the counter, food supplements, vitamins, teas, sodas, coffee...quite literally anything that has a chemical in it. For example I was told to stay away from caffeine while on chemotherapy; maybe for you it's different but you have to find out from your Dr.'s to be sure. 😐😒

 

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Thank you LexieCat and Jesse L.  I will bring a list of meds/supplements/vitamins to chemo with me Monday. My oncologist is aware of my list and hasn’t said to stop anything. I will double check, tho.

❤️❤️

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GramaA, they should be giving you a "chemo teach" session before your first infusion. The NP will tell you everything you need to know and will answer all of your questions. Make sure you bring a list of all meds and supplements you take. I was told to avoid all raw fruits that did not have a peel that could be removed (like berries) and all raw veggies due to potential contamination that may not wash away completely. If you don't have an appointment for that, then you might want to request one. It takes about an hour, more or less. 

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When I had my first chemo infusion ( for a non-lung cancer) I was told to bring all of my supplements and any OTC meds with me. I had several supplements recommended by my naturopath. I met with the chemo pharmacist  who went over everything and OK'd all of them but one. I can't remembr what it was, but the reason was that it had an animal-based ingredient that might  have been raw.  I felt confident that this pharmacist, based in the infusion center, was knowledgeable. 

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Thank you, JudyM2 and BridgetO!

I’m loving all the responses and advice. I wish I had joined months ago!

I went to a Chemo Class in 2018. My oncologist said I didn’t need another one because I’m getting the same meds. BUT, he added Keytruda so I wish I had asked for another class. I’ll bring my meds, etc. in a plastic bag rather than a list then. The nurse can look at the ingredients if she suspects something may be a problem.

Thank you again...so much! I really appreciate all of you!

Happy Easter!!

A~

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Just want to echo Bridget's sage advice- I also take a number of supplements, all of them were reviewed and approved by the pharmacist.  (The oncologist generally will say don't take any supplements).   

Memorial Sloan Kettering maintains a database of common supplements that you can check for yourself in advance of the appointment: 

https://www.mskcc.org/cancer-care/diagnosis-treatment/symptom-management/integrative-medicine/herbs

Best of luck to you as you get this show on the road! 

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