FEC & Nausea

Good morning

I completed 4 x Docetaxel a while back and had my first dose of FEC + herceptin yesterday.

My question to those of you who have had FEC is, in your experience, when does the nausea start?

I know we will all be different but there was a distinct pattern with docetaxel and I’ve been told FEC nausea is different as is pretty much immediate. I wondered if any of you have found this to be this to be the case?

Jacq X

Hi Jacq
I’ve just finished 4 cycles of EC (no F for me) despite anti sickness meds I had nausea and vomiting from day 1 on first cycle. My next 3 cycles were reduced because I ended up neutropenia and got cellulitis with the first one …lucky me?. I’ve still had nausea from day 1 with those 3 cycles. Also had shaky/dizzy feelings, stomach cramps, dodgy bowels (tmi !!) The nausea is manageable after day 1 I find but as you say everyone is different. The more cycles I’ve had the longer my side effects have lasted - wasn’t feeling great this time right up until chemo day. Sorry for the doom and gloom?I’m now due 4 docetaxel, herceptin and pertuzamab which I’m dreading to be honest - any tips pls?

Hi Bay
Thanks for the reply and sorry to hear you had such a tough time. I found with the docetaxel that I had three pretty good days after the infusion and then went downhill for ten days or so, my main problem was neutropenia and I had two hospital admissions… I’d heard that with FEC the nausea was pretty much instant. I had the first dose yesterday and I have to say I’ve had no nausea yet. I hope it lasts ?I don’t really hve any tips I’m afraid, I’ve chosen to fast during chemo and I know that’s not for everyone but I believe it has helped me avoid nausea and mouth issues. There’s a thread about it if you are interested. I didn’t find docetaxel to be too problematic, in fact I my worst side effects were from the antibiotics I had to have while in hospital.
Wishing you all the best for your chemo.

Thanks for that Jacq - my neutrophils have dropped every time my bloods are done so glad to get an extra week between the change of regime. I’ve been told I’ll get Herceptin on one day and the Docetaxel the following day - not sure where the Pertuzamab fits in?? Also seems to a lot more steroids to take. Anyway, onwards and upwards as they say - half way point for chemo now? Best wishes for your remaining chemo x

Hi again, JacqB – I had no nausea or vomiting or mouth sores during FEC, so fingers crossed you continue as you are. I had looked into the Longo lab research, but chose not to fast in the end – just ate more lightly day before and day of chemo and upped my water intake to at least 3 liters on day before, day of, and day after chemo (I drink at least 2 liters of water, plus other bevs, every day). I have had some mucositis – pain, specifically, back of throat and esophagus – but only became a problem during TPH.

Hi Reddi
I really do try with the water but I’ve always struggled to up my intake, funnily enough I have no problem with wine ? I try to drink a litre a day in general and up it around chemo to two, but I really do have to force it. I’m not one who always has a drink to hand. Just woke up, day 4 and no nausea yet with FEC. For that I am truly thankful ?

Hi JacqB


Hope you are faring well after your first FEC.


I had mine a couple of weeks ago and was told nausea was pretty much confined to the first week. I took all the nausea tablets I was given (three lots) for the three days following FEC and afterwards took one a day for three days of the back up drugs they gave me, I could take up to three a day but was warned of constipation. I found this got me through the first week. I have had a couple of watery mouth episodes and my stomach is constantly rumbling, but managed to get through that first week with no sickness.  I did have the shaky feelings that Bay mentions, coated tongue (that was addressed by brushing my tongue gently during teeth cleaning) and like you I am terrible at drinking water, something I will have to address for round two as I’m sure it would help with night sweats and the shaky feeling.



I had EC (no F) and found that the Emend was excellent for controlling the immediate nausea. I couldn’t take the ad hoc medication later because it clashed with the Prozac but I found that the occasional sicky feeling was managed pretty  well with Sea Bands and the occasional chunk of ginger.


I was told that nausea wasn’t likely with Taxol so I wasn’t given Emend with that but I never suffered with it anyway.

Hi all


I’m just about to start FEC (all a bit of a shock as I was told post surgery MDT had decided rads and tamoxifen as it was so early and low risk. I then insisted on Oncotype DX …just for peace of mind. This came back at 31 …high risk of recurrence…so chemo here I come!!).


I’m pleased to hear that you seem to be doing well on FEC JacqB. Are you still doing ok? I hope so. Also can you tell me more about the fasting you’re doing and also where I can find the thread. Do you really think its helping?.


Anyone else have any FEC expereinces? 


Thanks and lots of love Angela xx

I was having FEC this time last year, had 6 rounds. I found Emend great, didn’t have it first round and was sick, dud for other 5 plus double dose ondanctron and metaclopramide regularly for first week and wore sea bands. Little and often with food, I found a few almonds helped with nsusea too.
I would recommend Manuka honey to keep neutrophils up mine were borderline before second chemo but fine thereafter you need at least 25+ though not cheap but worth it. Go to GP if you have bad heartburn they can prescribe good tablets that help I took Lansoprazole. Use a moisturising mouth wash to protect against ulcers. I can’t remember the name began with a B and they sell it in Superdrug for about £8 again expensive but I only had 2 ulcers despite having a horrible dry mouth.
Good luck ladies, you will get there. I’m still trudging through Herceptin 15/18 next week but life does get better, let people look after you and get out in the fresh air for a walk whenever you can.
Love to you all xx