5FU oral vs intravenous?

Hello! I was diagnosed in October with Stage 3B colon cancer. My surgery and November and the ensuing recovery went very well. I'm now in my Folfox chemo treatment and have had two rounds so far. Third round is scheduled for next week. I've had a problem with terrible nauseau and reflux/heartburn (lasts 3 days with no relief from protonix). I become very dehydrated as a result which then contributes to other problems. My oncologist is thinking of switching me to the oral form of 5FU instead of using the pump. I'm curious to hear from anyone who made this switch and what their experiences were. Particularly interested also in people who have had really bad reflux with this chemo and what they have done. Thanks much! 


  • Trubrit
    Trubrit Member Posts: 5,754 Member
    edited January 2017 #2

    I had miserable heartburn and reflux while in the FOLFOX cocktail.  I confess that I did little about it but suffer through it. I have never been a pill taker and that attitude probably contributed towards a very miserable six months of treatment. 

    I love your name Lucybythesea.  You must live by the sea. i would love to live by the sea (Cannon Beach, Oregon wo be nice). 

    Welcome to the forum.  I'm sure someone will post soon that will be allot more helpful thN I have been.  


  • traci43
    traci43 Member Posts: 773 Member
    edited January 2017 #3
    I've done both

    So for me the 5-FU pump made me more fatigued, nausea was okay.  I wouldn't drink water while on the pump.  I don't know why, I just wouldn't.  So of course, I was dehydrated and would get infused when I went back in to have the pump removed.  When my cancer recurred I switched to Xeloda (pill form of 5-FU).  That was much easier, just take it after eating and with a full glass of water.  Instead of the awful fatigue, my fingers and feet got to where they almost felt like they were burned, and the skin would peel.  Regular use of a creamy lotion helps with that.  I liked Gold Bond Healing with Aloe, others on this board have their favorites. I also had more hang nails and the sides of my nails started pulling away, so now some of my nails tips curl under.

    I did have a problem in the beginning with taking the pills, I felt like I was poisoning myself.  Weird I know, and I soon got over it.  When I had the pump I took all three days off since I was pretty useless, but with the pill version I was able to work all but infusion days and even work out!  Good luck to you whichever you use.  Traci