Chemotherapy-Induced Anorexia Options

Chemotherapy is an invaluable tool in defeating cancer, but it has its drawbacks. One of the most common and problematic side effects is an extreme lack of appetite and nausea when attempting to eat. Unfortunately, there isn't yet a form of chemotherapy that doesn't have the potential to induce short-term anorexia. However, you can still get help for this disorder without being forced to try a different cancer treatment. Here are three treatment options for eating disorders to help get you eating normally again.


THC is the chemical found in marijuana that's known for having psychoactive effects on the mind. However, it's also been found to be an extremely useful tool in helping cancer patients to eat and show interest in food. This is the same reason why people who take marijuana tend to experience the "munchies", or an urge to eat. While it's enjoyable for people who take it recreationally, it can be a serious help for those who are struggling with anorexia.

Medical marijuana is often prescribed by oncologists in areas where it's been legalized for cancer patients. It can be smoked, or patients can choose to take it in an edible form instead. In either case, it can help to stimulate the appetite and reduce the risk of frequent vomiting after eating, otherwise known as bulimia.

Appetite Stimulants

For people who can't use THC or don't have access to it, there are other appetite stimulants that can be of use. Once such drug is Dexamethasone. Dexamethasone is a steroid that's been found to be useful in increasing appetite, especially in those with advanced stages of cancer.

Nausea Control

Your last option is to control nausea with medication. While THC can help with this, you can combine certain medications with THC or take them by themselves to help control the nausea you feel when eating.

Chemotherapists and oncologists have a long list of medications they can prescribe for this very cause. Many of them, like Ondansetron, can be prescribed in a dissolving form that can just be placed under the tongue. By taking a dissolving drug, you don't have to try and stomach swallowing a pill when you're already feeling ill.

Experiencing short-term anorexia, bulimia, or both while you're fighting cancer can be a serious burden on anyone. If you're struggling with these problems, don't try to struggle through it alone. Ask your doctor for help or seek medical attention at an eating disorder facility to combat this problem and stay strong while your body is winning the fight against cancer.