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5FU take home 24 hr pump

Hooley's picture
Posts: 156
Joined: Aug 2012

i have fortnightky chemo plus irrinotecan at the hospital over three hours then take home 5 FU 48 hour pump.  My question is this. Has anyone decided not to take home the pump and if so any changes in results. my onc had said there was no scientic proof the pump had or had not helped or hindered things?

joemetz's picture
Posts: 493
Joined: Nov 2011

I have never considered NOT taking the pump.

5fu is a very strong drug, however by taking it with a "push" then the pump for 48 hours... it drips a little bit each minute, over 48 hours.

this has to be easier on he body than pumping it in you really fast.


I am very surprised (and almost anoid) that your doctor said "no scientific proof" that this works.

there are so many clinical trials that happen, well before a drug is approved. And, since approved, there most likely have been thousands of people world wide who use a pump to recieve their 5fu (or any other type of drug)

I've been on 5fu two different times.

the "no scientific proof" would be more directed at treatments of colon and stage IV colon cancers.

the life expectancy isn't much longer than it was 10 or 15 years ago, but one thing is for sure... we feel much better during the fight. (better "quality of life")


if it were me, i wouldn't want to start playing doctor right now.... especially with your first treqtments.     If you do not like the chemo path, there are other paths to take of more natural or holistic approaches... only a few on this blog are doing such, as most of us have opted for traditional chemo methods for our battles.


I wish I had your scientific proof you're looking for... but for me, my answer would be... Take the pump. Go along with the recommendations of your doctors.

however, if you do not trust your doctors and you're already questioning their decision process or methods... find a new doctor(s).

I believe you have (or must) have a team of doctors that you trust and believe in.   It helps greatly during this battle.


you're added to my list of people to pray for today.  I pray for you, your docs and the success you will have from these treatments.


my best




Hooley's picture
Posts: 156
Joined: Aug 2012

Just read your history. What a champ!   God is good.  I've really been praying about my situation   I had colon with 4 mets to lungs sugar 2010.  Very blessed to not have any others   Ironic have been asking god if I should have surgery on lung mets as found surgeon that said could op. Last week found out he dx with MS. and no longer doing ops God knows I don't wanna be on chemo sell my life but I'm in his hands. Will mosr def now!  His timing is perfect snd I shall not lose faith. Blessings yo u

abrub's picture
Posts: 2166
Joined: Mar 2010

I was told that the 5FU is only active for about 10 minutes in your body before it breaks down into useless metabolites.  The reason for the 46 hour pump is to have the chemo active in you for more than the 10 minutes you get with the push.  I've never heard of anyone just getting a single push of 5FU with no additional drug.  IV, there is the 46 hour drip, and the oral chemo is given daily for 2 weeks.

Stick with the pump if you want the value.

Hooley's picture
Posts: 156
Joined: Aug 2012

Does make sense.  Don't like it when people say chemo will kill u before the cancer will.  Other problem is onc hesitant to do scan cis if giving says cn no longer study on erbitux.   CEA been around 4-5 for four months or so

Posts: 1282
Joined: Apr 2012

I had FU 5 delivered with a pump at 1&1/4 mltr @hr 24/7 for five weeks while I was concurrently getting radiation 5 times a week.

It worked !  Later this month will be 4 yrs since diagnosis and NED for last 3 !!! Good Luck to you.

Hooley's picture
Posts: 156
Joined: Aug 2012

Such good news.   Think I get worse with first night of pump and get down from no sleep due to steroid dextramethazone

Gods timing is perfect I know

abrub's picture
Posts: 2166
Joined: Mar 2010

I knew I'd never sleep with that damned pump, su dosed with ambien every night I had it on.  I slept fine.

Posts: 21
Joined: Dec 2012

How are you going In the land of Oz. I have been on the 5FU ride every fortnight for the last 18 months with a 300ml bag to get through in the 40 odd hours. It is something I have got accustomed to and doesn't present a problem sleeping or wearing it to work. My Onc is not signalling any change to the current cocktail of drugs. The merry mix of drugs has kept me alive with Stage 4 for the last 18 months so I think I will just stick with it.

All the best from Qld.



Trubrit's picture
Posts: 5458
Joined: Jan 2013

I came home with the pump for 46 hours after my Oxaliplatin. I HATED it.  I'd get up and forget it was there, until I dragged at the tube in my chest. I hated being stuck in one position in bed, and ended up sleeping inbetween two body pillows to keep me from rolling over. 

I was so sure that I didn't want that thing hooked up to me 24/7 for six weeks during radiation but the Oncologist wanted me on it.  Well, it turned out to be no problem at all. I got so used to it being there, it really was the least of my problems. 


DD3's picture
Posts: 134
Joined: May 2013

My wife had the option of the pump or xeloda during chemo/radiation.  After discussing with two docs and doing some research of our own.  We (or she) went with xeloda.  Now during FulFox, obviously there was no option.  She wore the pump.  And as Trubrit said... It was the least of her problems.  I don't know... You folks always amaze me on how you make the best of everything. 

Anonymous user (not verified)

Abrub is right.  5FU has a very short halflife. It metoblizes within 10-20 min to half strength and by the same factor until it is gone within an hour or so.  You want to be sure the 5FU loading dose to bring your blood levels up to theraputic values is the last thing you get before the pump is hooked up immediately after the loading dose. The pump only maintains the theraputic blood levels.    The loading dose should be given over an 8-10 min. period.  Any faster and it may make you feel really bad for a while.  Also the loading dose has a tendancy to cause mouth sores due to mucosal vasodilation.  Try putting some ice chips in your mouth during the loading dose to vasoconstrict those tiny blood vessels and prevent the mouth sores.   Dan

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