Phlebitis in veins after chemo

Hi i have developed pain in my arm after chemo, seen by dr and nurses at chemo unit who say i have phlebitis, inflammation of the veins which has been caused by chemo, i have to take ibruphen and paracetamol. I have only had one fec so far so unsure if this is something that will get worse.

Anyone got any tips for dealing with this, does heat help, thinking about a wheat bag?

Take care all

Hi Sarah

I got this after my 2nd FEC and have just had my 3rd on Tues 12th Feb.

On my third FEC they placed the cannula in a different part of my hand and by doing so the chemicals took a different vein and so far no extra pain. My original phlebitis still hurts like hell though.
Hot water bottle or wheat bag is recommended as apparently it opens the veins and gets more blood to come down to assist repair of the veins.
Get them to use a different part of your hand if poss next time and ask them for a heat bag during administration.

Good luck

ang x

Hi thanks Ang for your reply,

they did use a wheat bag during the chemo, think i will get one to use at home. Hope you are doing ok with your treatment. Are the effects of the 2 fec like the first one or does it get worse the more you have?
Take care


Hi Sarah, I finished cehmo FEC x 6 last August and like you got Phlebitis in vein after the first one. They will try to use a different vein each time as to not aggrovate the problem, unfortunately I got it in pretty much every vein they used.
Mine too was sore and I couldn’t straighten my arm properly for a good few months after but it does get better. I tried a wheat bag but the smell made me puke so that didn’t help but if your nose can take it I guess it must do some good.

Try and have long soaks in the bath and gently excersise and massage your your arm, this may help.

My veins are still all lumpy where they have been so damaged but I now have full movemetn again, it will get better,

Take care,

Mandy xxx

if your veins are crap you can have a central line put in under local anaesthetic. I suffered from terrible phlebitis when I was given antibiotics for a wound infection and I couldn’t wipe my bottom except with my right hand for about a week after the treatment stopped. They should explore alternatives but they probably haven’t suggested it as it is expensive. they call them hickman lines but I think there’s more than one option. It goes into a vein in the neck

Hi Ladies - interesting to hear your comments on phlebitis. My biggest problem seems to be nerve damage, my chemo nurse has used the same vein for my frst 2 FECs and both times she hit the nerve and now part of my hand is numb Does anybody know if the nerves repair themselves or am I stuck with it?
Thelma xx

Hi Sarah

I too got Phlebitis. My doctor prescribed an ibuprofen cream (can’t remember the name now - some like Canoprofen). It worked great for me.

Good luck.


Sara, I’ve had terrible phlebitis since first Epirubicin, arm feels like its full of wire cables!..a cream called HIRUDIOD really helps, as does heat, gentle massage etc. You must stretch it gently, dont keep it bent. It does get better slowly, especially now I’m on the CMF. Hickman lines have other problems, try to keep going on arms if you can. Thelma, nerves grow back very slowly, so hopefully will return to normal before long

Good luck, Lynette

P.s hot bath or just putting arm in hot basin before application helps the hirudiod absorb much better into the skin. Lynette x

Hey Sarah

Sorry I haven’t replied. I’ve home to Norn Iron to be pampered by my mum. Gosh it’s great craic not cooking or cleaning or anything and just to be home with my mum and dad is the greatest thing. Don’t want to go back for anymore rotten chemo.

I found the 2nd FEC was the worst and I had 3 in total. The first one was easy and I think I thought, “this is a piece of cake” so when the 2nd hit I was totally knocked for six. I guess I just wasn’t expecting it. I was so sick for days, never been quite as low. 3rd was bad too, but not as bad, as I guess I was more prepared.

On 3x TAX from 4th March. Feck me I hope I can get through it. I am totally hating chemo. let’s start a WE HATE CHEMO group. Rant over.

Ang xx