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Vitamin Regimen for Prevention of Neuropathy

Posts: 7
Joined: Jul 2009

Hi Everyone, I am new to this board and I am writing for my mother who has been diagnosed with StageIII colon cancer. She just started her FOLFOX treatment this week (5FU, Leucovorine, and Oxyloplatin) forgive the spellings!.

I have been reading most of the postings on here and have a question about taking vitamins to reduce or prevent the side effect of neuropathy.

I have purchased B6, B Complex, R-Lipoic Acid and L-glutamine vitamins for her to take. I was intstructed by the PA at the oncologists office that she can take vitamins on her OFF WEEK of treatment (that is, the week she has her blood work). I have also read on line that L-glutamine may contribut to tumor growth, so I am a bit leary about starting her on that vitamin.

Please let me know if anyone has taken these vitamins during their chemotherapy treatments and has success in reducing or preventing the side effect of neuropathy.

Also, she has felt nausasu and she has taken ginger ale and tea to help. She has a prescription for nausau medication but she afraid of the major side effect of headache. She stated that she will take it if the nausau becomes severe.

Is there anything else she can do, other than taking a drug, to relieve the nausau?

Thank you, everyone. All of you are an inspiration! God Bless.


PamPam2's picture
Posts: 376
Joined: Jan 2009

I know some doctors want you to be very careful about supplements while on chemo. I was allowed a multi-vitamin, and vit. E for night sweats. Never had any bad side effects from the nausea meds, and really needed them. I have read on here several people had good luck with cantelope and melons for the nausea. Also small snacks while receiving chemo helped me, eating small amounts, several times a day, instead of trying to eat two or three larger meals a day. Hope your mom continues to do ok with her treatments and chemo.

Sundanceh's picture
Posts: 4408
Joined: Jun 2009

Hi Connie

You might ask about her taking Magnesium Sulfate by IV during her chemo treatments. This helped me tremendously when I was doing Folfox with Avastin and Xeloda - it was a Godsend.

It does not work for everybody, but if it does, it will make her quality of life better.


Mike49's picture
Posts: 269
Joined: Nov 2008

I finished FOLFOX in May and had minimal trouble with Nausea. I took my lunch to work and esentially munched frequently throughout the day. Sprouted wheat bread just by itself overcame small nauseous moments. Berries, PB&J sandwiches, broth and soups were also good. I experienced a period where I wanted lots of comfort food like chili and burgers early on. Make sure to keep the nutrition up as she will need the energy. Sometimes Ensure and dietary protein supplements help. Others on this board will have great advice.

lizzydavis's picture
Posts: 893
Joined: May 2009

Ginger Capsules offer much more Ginger than Ginger Ale. You can purchase these at Walmart - 250 mg for $6.00 per bottle. Take one twice a day. Ask you onc first to make sure it is ok. I know that they have done some recent Clinical Trials with Ginger Capsules.

snommintj's picture
Posts: 602
Joined: Mar 2009

Ginger capsules? I'm sure they're fine but why not try fresh ginger. Fresh ginger works great on my nausea. I juice about a piece about the size of my thumb. It is a bit spicy but I cut it with fresh lemon, apple, and carrot juice. You can grate it and add it to tea or just water. I also add it to chicken broth. I've had dozens of folfox treatments and have taken only one nausea pill. Whenever I start feeling ill I hit the ginger and it works for me every time. Matter of fact, I'm gonna slice some up and make some tea.

Posts: 163
Joined: Apr 2009

Heinz Lenz, MD at USC Norris said that L Glutamine was ok during chemo, it is glutathione that is not. A major no no is hi levels of vitamin c over the usual daily recommended for non cancer folks.
I don't believe your PA is correct in okaying things on the week off because the effects on the cancer cells continue from treatment to treatment. In fact i wouldn't listen to a PA at all about that; ask your oncologist.
Regarding nausea please consider having your mom take the antinausea meds before the nausea hits, they never caused headaches for me and I never had nausea because of that.
I had oxyaliplatin and was told the neuropathy would never go away.....well it did> I take sublingual vitamin B-12, lots of electrolyte enhanced distilled water ( two qts a day) and had acupuncture which is famous for helping neuro problems. Now all I have is neuropathy when I am dehydrated. Actually my toes tell me when I need to drink more water. LOL

Bravo to you for being your mom's helper, this will make a huge difference in her recover.
Think positive.


Kathleen808's picture
Posts: 2361
Joined: Jan 2009

Hi Connie,
My husband also saw Dr. Lenz at USC (like Serranna) and he has a great blog that you can get to if you google "dr lenz c3". He discusses Calcium and Magnesium infusions before and after each folfox treatment (that is before the infusion and right before you go home with the pump). He also has ok'd B6, B12 and vit d. Please go through his blog, there is a lot of info. Best to you mom.

lizzydavis's picture
Posts: 893
Joined: May 2009

Ginger Root is better than the pills for nausea - I am sure. I have tried the Ginger Root but I cannot get past the taste. I juice too but cannot do the Ginger Root.

Posts: 7
Joined: Jul 2009

Hi Kathleen:

Thank you for your information and I will be sure to check out Dr. Lenz's blog. Hope your husband is doing well and recovers.

You are so kind to give me the information. All of you have been so much help as you give advice and tell us about your struggle or your loved ones' struggle with cancer treatments.


nudgie's picture
Posts: 1482
Joined: Sep 2006

I really never asked my care team about taking vitamins. I just continued taking my mult-vitamin, Vitamin C, E, birth control, Nexum and Liptor everyday.

I would receive my anti-nausa and allergic meds before I received my treatment. I would take Zolfran and Decadron.

Posts: 305
Joined: Feb 2009

During my last appointment, my doctor told me to stop taking any vitamins, except vitamin D and Calcium. He said any vitamins that help you to stay or get healthy also helps the cancer cells to stay healthy. I can see his point in that, so I quit taking Vitamin C, B, and Clarinex and quit drinking any drinks with antioxidants.

Good luck to your mother and have her take the nausea pill. I never had a headache and I have to take them the first two or three days after treatment. Before my treatment I'm given Ativan, Aloxi, Tagamet and Phenagren. The Aloxi is supposed to last for five days, but it doesn't.


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