Folfiri plus Avastin

nanuk Member Posts: 1,358 Member
edited March 2014 in Colorectal Cancer #1
I start Folfiri/Avastin next week, which I believe consists of 5fu, Irinotecan-(CPT-11), Leucovarin + methotrexate, & Avastin.
Side effects seem to run the gamut, from Congestive heart failure to severe nausea & diarrhea, low blood counts,bleeding, & death..
Is there anyone out there who has had this protocol w/o side effects? And, if side effects, what meds were prescribed to prevent them? I'd like to have them on hand, esp if onset of symptoms is right away. How long do symptoms last, and when do they present? I'm scared spitless, cause my lst bout with FOLFOX was the worst... Nanuk


  • goldfinch
    goldfinch Member Posts: 735
    Hi Nanuk,
    I was on the folfiri plus avastin, though it didn't include the methotrexate. I experienced constipation alternating with diarrhea. And fatigue. Perhaps a little nausea, but nothing too terrible. I actually don't think I realized how much it was affecting me til i got to come off of it for 3 months. I felt so good then. The only meds I used were colace or imodium. Anyway, it definitely was tolerable and I was able to work (though I only work 3 days a week) through the treatments. I found it easier to tolerate than the folfox plus avastin that I'm going through now. Good luck!
  • andreae
    andreae Member Posts: 236
    Dearest Nanuk,

    I'm sorry to hear that you are gearing up for treatment again. I would like to tell you that it is smooth sailing, but I'm currently on irinotecan, erbitux and avastin and I struggle with the chemo for about four days. They have to hospitalize me from the Thursday to Sunday every three weeks (i only get the CPT-11 every three weeks) to control the pain and vomiting. BUT, I do BOUNCE COMPLETELY BACK BY MONDAY. I mean, I'm back at school writing papers and no one would ever guess the vomit-fest week-end I had. The doctors don't know if I'm tolerating it so poorly because of the antibodies or because I have had so much chemo (I'm on round 40). Hang in there though because it is sooo worth it. Four bad days out of 21 sounds good to me. The rest of the time I can carry on as normal and this protocol dropped my CEA to 16 when they were 35 in June.

    Keep believing! I'll be thinking of you.

    Lots of love,
  • Kanort
    Kanort Member Posts: 1,272 Member
    Hi Bud,

    I can't help you with any information on any of the drugs you will be receiving, but I am hoping that the side effects will be minimal.

    One of my friends took methotrexate and was bother by nasty mouth sores. I know during my infusions of 5FU they always had me sip on water to eliminate mouth sores and I guess it worked because I never had any.

    I know you have moved to a new location, Bud. I hope you have made new friends or have family close by. I'm sending well wishes your way. Let us know how the first session goes.

    Stay Strong,

  • jsabol
    jsabol Member Posts: 1,145 Member
    Hi Bud,
    Sorry that I don't have any information about your new regimen; I just wanted you to know that I'm hoping that this new course goes well for you. Seems that many folks are tolerating the Avastin well, with great results. Keep those nurses and oncs busy with any questions that arise, and keep us posted.
    Best of luck,
  • midnte0708
    midnte0708 Member Posts: 166
    My father is on this (but no methotrexate). He is on the ever other week cycle and wears the chemo pump for 44 hours every other week.
    He is still able to work 40 + hours a week. He does get exhausted and and go to bed most of the time when he gets home from work. He will be 62 this month.
    The only weird thing that happened to him so far (he has been going every other week since mid-Aug is a couple second blackout while driving (never had this before, chemo related ??) and tightening of the chest in the very beginning (he never mentioned this to the doc but never had it again)
    Other than that I believe he tolerates it fairly well. (He does not take anything for nausea, etc...) He asked the doc once if he is getting "stong enough" chemo and the doctor said if it was any stronger it would kill him.
    Good luck and I hope you have mild if any effects.

  • finner
    finner Member Posts: 230 Member
    I was on folfiri, plus avastin, but no methotrexate. Am still on avastin. This regime reduced tumour in lung by 40%. I was very apprehensive befor starting folfiri because of the all the warnings about side effects. Howver, I stopped taking the anti-nausea pills and did,'t experience any nausea. There was definitly an issue with diarrohea(sp?)and the worst part was it came without warning. Towards the end it was like passing razor blades. However I didn't seek any med for this, so possibly there is something out there to cambat this. All in all it was very tolerable and I managed to cycle to work and live a fairly normal life. Fatigue was an issue as well, but manageable. The best of luck to you and I hope you will be as symptom free as I was.

  • oneagleswings
    oneagleswings Member Posts: 425 Member
    My husband is on folfiri plus avastin and has had his second infusion...really other than being a bit more tired than when he was on just the 5FU his only major symptoms are a bit of nausea (fixed by zofran), lack of appetite and lots and lots of sweating the night of the treatment...I'm hoping you have very few side effects and that the treatment does what it is supposed to do...
  • jdzed
    jdzed Member Posts: 12

    I have had three installments of FOLFIRI, and have had Avastin before. The best thing I can recommend is to monitor your regularity. I noticed constipation immediately after the treatment followed by urgent diarrhea. For that, I'd recomment a mild laxative for about 2-4 days after the treatment, then alternate into immodium. Irinotecan is the one causing most of this in me. Good luck - Jim