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Complementary Medicine

What Supplements Could Help Alleviate Nausea from Chemotherapy?

03/22/2002

Question:

I am currently undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer. Despite the medications I am taking, I am very nauseous and uninterested in eating. What herbal treatments are available that might help me regain my appetite? Is there something else you could suggest? I would like to provide my doctor with some options, as we have never discussed this before. I know I can not take anything without talking with him first. Thank you.

Answer:

Nausea is a commonly experienced complication of chemotherapy. Ginger has been shown to be an effective remedy for nausea of all types, including motion sickness, morning sickness, and chemotherapy-induced nausea. The dosage is one gram three times per day. Your doctor can also discuss with you the benefits of `medical marijuana` or Marinol that has also been shown to be very effective for nausea and the loss of appetite which commonly occurs with chemotherapy. Marinol comes in 2.5mg or 5.0mg tablets, and is taken every 6 hours as needed. Your doctor can prescribe this for you.

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Response by:

Tanya I Edwards, MD, MEd Tanya I Edwards, MD, MEd
Formerly, Associate Professor of Medicine
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University