Bowel cancer treatment and side effects


FOLFIRI Reactions

Following the shortest all clear ever (about two weeks!) I was diagnosed with a recurrence of Bowel and Peritoneal Cancer. This was following an initial treatment of 3 sessions of Panitumumab and FOLFOX, a right Hemi and stoma, then 9 sessions of FOLFOX.

I am currently inoperable unless I am ‘replumbed’ so have been placed on six sessions of Panitumumab with FOLFIRI before a CT scan review. The chemo drugs are similar to what I had previously but the Irinotecan substitution for Oxaliplatin appears to immensely dislike being called up!

After the first session I had a reaction (sickness, sweats) an hour after returning home and ended up in hospital for 12 days. At the second session I took 4 blue anti-sickness pills prior to starting a slower infusion. However I still required the atropine injection twice (for nausea, sweats, cramps) and then suffered severe nausea upon returning home. Most of the time it feels as if I am bouncing drunk around the house!

I was wondering if anyone else has suffered severe nausea from FOLFIRI? If so, what have you done to ease the issue? Have you changed to an alternative chemo drug? Bloods for session number 3 are on Wednesday so it would be good to get some ideas by then! :x::x:


Hi @Jomo9, so sorry you are getting this reaction, I too find Irinotecan very tough going, I did better on Oxaliplatin. The chemo suite give me the Rolapitant prior to the infusion, and I also have the Atropine prior to Irinotecan infusion and another on the last flush. I have started to request Ondansatron as take homes but Christie will only give them for two days, they bung you up. I take Cyclizine regularly whether I feel sick or not. I preferred the Aprepitant (Emend) prior to infusion.
Other than that, I just rest and sleep on grotty days, it seems to be cumulative this treatment. Sometimes a dose reduction @80% helps. Sorry I cannot suggest anything wonderful.:x::x:


@Clancy sounds familiar to the experience that I am having! Is Rolapitant or Aprepitant the Blue anti-nausea tablets?! I am generally on 3 x 50mg Cyclizine daily with 4mg Ondanestron allowed on demand. All my medication is now prescribed by the Macmillan Community Team so that one group has full control over my pills, patches and potions! :x::x:


@Jomo9 I had my first folfiri I fusion on Tuesday. When I got home I felt really really sick for the first 24 hours, so much so I told my hubby I can't do this!! I had Folfox previously. I took extra anti-sickness but I just grinned and bared it but it was awful so I sympathise with you. I've just got some cyclizine too as omdamsotron and domperidine didn't touch it. I'm on pump off day now and still feel shitty. Hoping the boosting injections help me. Hugs :x:


Yes they are the anti nausea tablets @Jomo9. They are Rolapitant, Christie now give them instead of the Aprepitant (Emend), and have done for some time now.
I am thinking of asking can I have the Rolapitant because I actually feel nauseous as the infusion is going in. It’s horrid isn’t it? It definitely takes me a whole week to get over.:x::x:


Hi yes I have suffered terribly with sickness in the past but keep asking for anti sickness meds till you find one that works. For me tablets don't I don't seem to absorb them so u am on ondansetron that is admistered by a syringe drive so in liquid form into my tummy. It works wonders for me I hardly ever feel sick. Don't give up asking cos there are lots of different anti sickness meds avaliable just need to find the right one for you :x::x:


Hi @Jomo9,
I've Done the FOLFOX & FOLFORI regimes and not suffered with physically being sick but the irinotecan did make me feel a little more nauseous so I took the domperidone as stated daily not just when I felt sick.
Do you not come home with any dexamethasone steroids as these are also to help with the sickness.
I also drink ginger drinks as I love ginger anyway.
I hope you find something that helps soo .


@Rachel I have a rather large medicine cabinet at the moment but have no ‘domperidone’, although it does sound more like a type of champagne! At least then I would have a nausea excuse 🤣Presume that you have the Domperidone instead of Cyclizine or Ondanestron?

I do have the Dexamethasone tablets to take home after the hospital so do take these as prescribed. Part of the problem is that I take so many pills, patches and potions that I think the combination is making me more nauseous! :x::x:


@Jomo9 Oh how I wish it was champagne and prescribed especially when we get free of charge prescriptions, it would be welcome as just what the doctor ordered. 😃🍾
Yes Domperidone is another anti sickness, I didn’t get along with Cyclizine tabs these didn’t do anything for me.
I hope you manage to find what works. :x::x: