Stopping Chemo Early due to bad reaction

Dear all

Apologies if this has already been addressed.

A member of my family has had 5 Chemo sessions - 4 of one drug and about to have 4 of another (sorry don’t know the names). On the first session of the second drug a bad reaction was had and the nurses had to stop the treatment, give other drugs then start again. On what should have been the 6th session, the same thing happened again but they decided to stop altogether.

Would an alternative be given at this stage of the treatment (only three to go).

The hospital are suggesting stopping after 5 sessions & going straight for an operation now.

Has anybody shared such an experience?

Thanks for your help / advice.


You don’t seem to have had a reply to this and although I don’t know the answer, I thought I would bump it back up to the top for you. You could try ringing the helpline.

Ann x

it would perhaps be more useful if you could find out the type of chemo… many people only have 6 lots of chemo anyway (usually 6 fec or 3 fec plus 3 tax)and i know a some who couldnt tolerate it beyond no 5 so never had their 6th one.

its maybe best to speak to the onc too but the helpline could give you some advice.


I had 4EC with no problem and was due for 4 Taxotere, slight reaction to the 1st tax, which they stopped and then restarted after a few minutes, and I was fine, however, on the second one full blown allergic reaction within seconds, so was stopped and told I couldn’t have any more of that one. I ended up having 9 x Taxol (slightly different drug in the same family) reduced dose, but weekly and was the equivalent of 3 more full doses (so I was told). Tolerated it ok, was a pain having to go every week, but generally only 1 day feeling a bit yucky and on the plus side, hair started growing back!


now im worried

what s a reaction like???
i will be having 1st tax 4 dys before christmas and im so nervous
im having a really hard time of the fec


allergic reaction usually on occur on a second exposure to the antigen so on a first exposure you wouldnt normally have a full blown reaction or maybe no reaction at all but if you had any allergic type symptoms which your nurse will be monitoring you for during your chemo they would normally monitor you even more closely with your subsequent treatments.

people get side effects but these arent allergic symptoms, which usually come on more quickly in serious allergic reactions and can include rash and itching, shortness of breath or wheezing, puffing up of face, eyes or mouth, stomach pains and vommiting, drop in blood pressure etc… patients who display a reaction may have piriton or another anti histamine (anti alergenic drug) given at the same time as chemo to help prevent it.

the patient in the bay next to me had an allergic reaction to his chemo, he just had his BP done and was ok and then started to feel cold and and had shivers and chills, bp was rechecked and had dropped a lot and was vomitting… he was on pititon which they increased and stopped his chemo but his onc wanted to stop treatment and review him in clinic before commencing with further chemo.

the actual effects can be different for different people… but even with a severe reaction it can usually be dealt with really quickly… ie minutes and hours and not days or weeks… so christmas should still go ahead as planned.

take care and try not to worry


I had a severe allergic reaction to my chemo. Please don’t worry about it before you need to. The nurses are watching all the time for any reaction (and they responded in seconds when my reaction started)and you are very closely monitored. It’s totally different from anxiety, you can’t make it happen and there is nothing you can do about it apart from try to keep calm. On both occasions I was allowed home 6 hours after the reaction with piriton and steroids to take for 4 days. I could have stayed in for observation if I wanted but I was assured it was only for my piece of mind. I have to say the SE I found ok for me it was just getting the stuff in!

Losh - I was taken off my chemo as the reaction was too severe, it has been decided that as I have no tumours evident further chemo will be saved for as and if I need it, they don’t want me to become sensative to something that I might need later. I’m having extra booster radiotherapy sessions.

Take care and good luck