Steroids and Chemo

I would like to know if anyone else has steroids mixed with their chemo. I am taking Alimta for 4 treatments every 3 weeks. My lobectomy removed all the cancer which had not spread. My doctor says the steroids are so I don't get violently sick. I had 2 treatments so far with very little side effects, fatigue mostly for the first week.

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I've seen it here many times. You might also want to take folic acid and B12, which can be prescribed by your doctor. This also helps with side effect and will give you some energy back. They say to avoid sugar, salt, dairy products and red meat. I also found this for you: Steroids can be used as part of your treatment to help destroy cancer cells and make chemotherapy more effective. Hope this helps. Good luck and take care, JC

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JC know much more than I - but I also had steroids with every chemo. A few people had so much trouble with them that they didn't get them, but my impression was that it was pretty standard.

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Here is the site for steroid and chemo info.
http://www.cancerbackup.org.uk/Treatments/Supportivetherapies/Steroids

Take care, JC

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I had just a bit of steroids with my first two chemos, but my third and fourth included extra as chemo side effects and fatigue increase some with each treatment. The steroids really did make it easier.
Stay strong and know that the chemo is killing beasty cells. Hugs,
n

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Steroids are very commonly given as pre-meds (either orally or via the IV) for many types of chemo. A typical steroid is Decadron (Dexamethasone). If you're on Alimta, a corticosteroid like Decadron is part of the FDA-approved administration process, usually day before, day of, & day after. The steroids help control the nausea, can minimize rash-type reactions, increase appetite, & help fight off fatigue (a very common side-effect of Alimta). Additionally, the protocol for Alimta includes a B-12 shot every 9 weeks & oral Folic Acid 400-1000 mcg daily. Alimta is an antimetabolite, specifically the antifolate class. It disrupts the folate-dependent metabolic processes necessary for the cancer cell to reproduce.

My Mom is currently on Alimta/Avastin & is tolerating it well.

Regards,
Gina

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I am gaining a lot of weight because of the steroids as my appetitie has not changed during chemo. What can I do about that?

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My chemo included steroids. I did not tolerate it well (major rash on chest and face) so the Doc decreased the amount they were giving me. It helped, but I did have more sick stomach after the decrease.

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Bil (cisplatin & alimta) takes Dexamethasone (4 mg) day before and day after chemo.

With his 1st chemo, he did not take the Dex because he was on prednisone at that time. Nausea & fatigue following that chemo treatment was rather severe (even on the anti-nausea drugs).

With 2nd chemo, he took the Dex - fought through 2-3 days of heartburn & indigestion, but no nausea & only minimal fatigue, primarily related to lack of sleep because of the heartburn. edema in his feet was a little more pronounced the 2nd time, however.

Overall, the help from & the value of the Dex was worth the side effects for him. We'll just be better prepared for the gastro side effects next time.

Bil takes folic acid supplements as part of his daily regime & his onc. has him on daily B-12 supplements as well (500 mcg in both morning & evening) rather than taking separate B-12 shots.

Kelly

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Me too...with every chemo...

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My husband takes Decadron the evening before and the morning of Chemo. Then more is administered before his chemo drugs. He has had no nausea or vomiting and is in ninth week of chemo (Erbitux, Taxol and Carbo). Is fatigued but side effects have really been minimal. Get radiation also, 4 more treatments out of 37 to go.

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I had steroids with every one of my treatments. My doctor said it is to help prevent bad side effects. Taking steroids on a long term basis do have side effects in itself but taking them only during the chemo treatments isn't as bad.

Best wishes,

Bette

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I always got them with every chemo treatment through IV. For 7 months and I gained weight by the end of treatment.

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I always got steroids with my chemo as well and I usually didn't sleep that night.

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I got Dex with my chemo and felt like I could go home and clean three houses and never get sleepy! The Dr.
reduced the amount next time and sleep was back but it came along with a messy house. Can you win on this stuff? Seriously, even the smaller dose prevented nausea, helped my appetite and, according to the Dr. helped the chemo drugs (Carboplatin and Taxol) work better. Tell your doc if something isn't going well - they have lots of things to help.

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