Symptom Management During Cancer Treatment

Managing side effects:


  1. Zofran 8mg (Ondansetron) take every 8 hours as needed for nausea, may cause constipation
  2. If still nauseated after 30 minutes of taking Zofran, take Compazine (prochlorperazine) 5-10 mg every 6 hours as needed for nausea (maximum 40 mg per day)


  1. Use Imodium (Loperamide) over the counter for diarrhea.
    • On the 1st episode of diarrhea, take 2 tabs of Imodium, then 1 tab every 2 hours until diarrhea free for 12 hours. Maximum 8 tabs per day.
  2. Call the clinic for 3 or more episodes of diarrhea not controlled with Imodium.
  3. Drink plenty of fluids—12 (8 oz.) cups of fluids daily. Avoid caffeinated products.
  4. Eat small frequent meals that are low fiber such as:
    • Banana, Rice, Applesauce and Toast (BRAT diet)
  5. Keep rectal area clean and dry.
  6. If above isn’t enough, please call the clinic.

Constipation, prevent and treat

  1. Try eating lots of high-fiber foods, such as fruit, vegetables and whole grains (aim for 4 to 5 cups).
  2. Drink plenty of fluids (at least 8 cups or 64 oz. per day) and get as much exercise as you can. Being physically active helps the GI tract function optimally.
  3. Try relaxation techniques, such as meditation, yoga or light stretching.
  4. If the above isn’t enough, please call the clinic.

Weight loss

It’s not uncommon for people to experience a loss of appetite, difficulty swallowing, dry mouth, nausea or vomiting as a result of cancer treatment. This can lead to weight loss. Contact the dietitian (503-338-4085) for help if your weight loss increases to more than 5% in a month or 10% in the last 6 months. There is a dietician available to meet with during your treatment.

Eating well during treatment

Eating Hints: Before, during, and after Cancer Treatment


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