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Friday, September 10, 2010 Patti, Community Member, asks

Q: Extreme fatigue during chemo

I'm soo tired after my first round of chemo following bi-lateral mastectomies.  While I am soo exhausted, is it OK to take 5 hour energy or other high energy drink to stay awake while I'm driving and need to be awake.  I'm still teaching and need to drive 45 minutes at 6 am and pm coming and going.

What have others done to be able to continue to function? 

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Answers (1)
PJ Hamel, Health Guide
9/10/10 10:14pm

Patti, while doing chemo you need to run everything past your doctor, as far as medications (even OTC medications). You don't want anything interfering with the chemo drugs' doing their job. I'm not sure where on the spectrum energy boosters fall; but just to be sure, you should ask your oncologist.


Also, be aware that side effects may change over the course of chemo. It's useful to keep a "chemo diary," which includes how you feel each day of the cycle; that way, you can track and eventually predict how you'll feel on certain days. Might be, if the fatigue is really unbearable on some days but better on others, you can take sick days when you know driving will be dangerous. Hope this helps - PJH

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By Patti, Community Member— Last Modified: 12/24/10, First Published: 09/10/10