Chemo and Steroids - Not sleeping

I am currently on chemo regimen of carboplatin and Taxol. 3 weeks on, 1 week off. I have to take steroids the night before chemo, started with 5 tablets (4mg each ) 12 hours before and 6 hours before chemo. I am now down to 3 at 12 and 6...Plus they give me additional steroids before chemo . I dont know if its the steroids but am having real difficulty sleeping. Does anyone know how I can beat this sleeplessness. The oncologist gave me sleeping pills, and I took for the first time last nite. It did little, today I am still wired and am so tired and need to sleep. Any advice is greatly appreciated

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nap. the steroids are what is keeping you from sleeping at night - but they are also keeping you from sever fatigue from the chemo - either way - you can't win - NAP!

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I have the steroids as well when I take the Cisplatin. They do get you going. Just sleep whenever you can. I watch movies at night when I can't sleep and if it's old and boring, I may even doze a bit!

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I am on the same chemo and regimen that you are on. However I do not have to take steroids before I get my chemo. they do give me steroids at the time of my chemo, but they also give me benadryl which seems to help counteract the steroids keeping me up. i continue to pop benadryl for a couple of days after the chemo and I sleep better, so you may want to give benadryl a try. Not sleeping is a real bear to fight with. I hope you find something that works. Good luck!!

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I'm also a Benadryl fan. They gave me Benadryl to counteract the side effects of the leg pain. I would get a bag of Benadryl at the end of my chemo and it would knock me out. LOVED it. I didn't do that my first chemo treatment and I didn't sleep for a week. I would ask for it. ;)

Good luck! I'm praying for you. :)

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I forgot to say, too, that they gave me a sleeping pill and it did NOTHING. Absolutely nothing. Benadryl worked like a charm, though. :)

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I gave up on sleeping pills and slept whenever I felt tired during the time of treatment. During it, the Internet was a wonderful outlet. I found games to play and some very friendly folks in cancer chat rooms. My chemo brain made reading books rather pointless, couldn't remember what I read enought to follow a complicated plot!

Just keep telling yourself that this is a temporary issue and you will soon be back on a "normal" sleep pattern.

Peggy

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Thanks.. I am not sure I cann take Benadryl, as it usually has the opposite effect on me. When I was younger I could take it and it would knock me out. Now It keeps me awake. They do give me Benadryl and anti-nausea, plus steroids and Zantac..just before chemo. I was told the Benadryl is necessary to counteract any reaction from the Taxol. I have my week off chemo the week of the 5th, and am getting a port, maybe they'll drug me enought that I can sleep awhile. LOL. Thanks again....

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I stopped taking the extra steroids(night before treatment) I was getting very sick . I forgot to take them once and didn't get nauseated . It has worked very well for me.... steroids are yuk lol I'm stage 4 non small cell lung cancer last scan showed nsd. yeah

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Hi
Don't worry it's normal when you take steroids,afterwords you'll sleep twice as normal
Goldi from Israel.

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besides the steroids which I took like you did, they also gave me benydryl in the iv. I was wired, my brain would not stop, I was awake non stop for 32 hours after 1st chemo. They cut my steroids down to 2 each time for the two times and said they would cut down or cut out the benydryl. It was much better after that. It sure gave me an appetite but I wanted my brain to shut down so I could rest. Talk to them and maybe they can change some more things for you...

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I finished a similiar chemo regimen in June 2008. It was my understanding that the steroids were needed to counteract any allergic reaction to the taxotere. I received IV benadryl as well, for the same reason. The steroids do make it very difficult to sleep, and I, too, had no luck with the sleeping pill. However, I eventually found that Ativan, 1 mg, would usually do the trick. My oncologist had already prescribed Ativan for nausea and saw no problem in using it for sleep.

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I went through the same chemo, and sleeping is very difficult. My dr gave me ambien, which I combined with benadryl and meletonin, and some soothing sleep music all together it gave me about 6 hrs of good sleep. I figured it was better than the sleepless nights. I finished that round of chemo 4 weeks ago and am finally sleeping a little better. I start up again in January (drs appt on the 6th to set a plan). I will be doing carbo and taxol again. My feelings are if it is working then I am willing to do whatever it takes. hang in there. I hear it gets better.

Janet

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Yes! The steroids are keeping you awake as well as preventing side effects. I don't know if it's right or wrong, but I have cut the amount of steroids down to half, or if I'm doing well, less than half and have not discussed it with my onc. It really is my body and it works for me.

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I have the steroids to thank for winning some $$ playing poker online. Played from 4 AM to 10 AM. My Dr. said I could cut down to one pill instead of 2. I usually crash after I stop the day after pill and sleep 14-16 hrs to catch up.

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My mom had the same problem with sleeping. The nurse's at the cancer center told her to sleep when she felt like sleeping or taking naps throughout the day which helped. She knew she wouldn't sleep at night, especially the day of and the day after chemo, so she took short naps throughout the day when she felt tired and more frequent rest periods. One lady at the cancer center actually had spotlights installed outside and did her gardening at night. This is a very common symptom and things do eventually get back to normal.

Liz

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Wow! I wish I could miss sleep but I still work 8 hr days. So when I had this problem, the onc cut my steroid dosage in half. That stopped the night sweats but not the sleeplessness. Tried Ambian but had fitfull sleep and it took at least an hour before I could walk a straight line in the morning (after 8 hrs). Finally tried the Benedryl and slept pretty well but still felt somewhat tired/drugged after 8 hrs. Just me, I guess.
Linda in CA

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I have a tumor in my brain, pineal gland in particular. I just started a 2nd bout with steroids, Decadron in particular. That WILL keep you from sleeping well, plus a whole host of other side effects. I don't wish this steroid on anyone.

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My husband has been using Tylenol's "Sleep Eazy" and it is only Benydril. It helps for maybe 5 hrs.
Sometimes he uses Tyleno PM if he has other pains. Doesn't work as well on pains, but does relax him for several hours.
Good luck!

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Did you have trouble staying awake til you got home?

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Yes, I did. LOL My husband and Mom said they were going to video tape me going home because I was so loopy from the Benadryl. LOL They said it was hysterically funny watching me try to walk. So glad I could provide humor for them! LOL

Now when I take Benadryl pills, they wire me and cause my neuropathy to act up. I'm sad to say I can't do Benadryl at all any more unless I am having a major allergic reaction to something.

Lorie

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