What Over-The-Counter Meds Can Help Manage Your Chemo Side Effects?

According to The Cannigma, 41 states, including Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia, have approved medical marijuana programs, and 23 of those states allow over-the-counter sales of both recreational and medical cannabis without a prescription. 

The American Cancer Society says cannabis can help treat nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy, and a 2011 study in The Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology verified this, with 96% of subjects reporting a significant reduction in nausea five minutes after taking cannabis.

Cannabis can also reduce neuropathic pain, another common side effect of chemo drugs. And recent studies show that THC and CBD can help slow the spread of cancer in animals and have actually killed certain types of cancer cells in laboratory studies (per American Cancer Society).  

The Mayo Clinic says aromatherapy could work to calm an upset stomach and boost mood after chemo treatments. Healthline suggests diffusing lavender, peppermint, or ginger essential oil to reduce nausea and vomiting. At the very least, it makes a pleasant addition to other therapies.

The Dana-Farber Cancer Institute recommends checking your B12 and vitamin D levels if you suffer from brain fog after chemo. And taking probiotics may help treat or prevent chemo brain in patients with breast cancer, according to the results of a recent human trial outlined in Medscape. Other supplements that can help fight brain fog include omega-3s, magnesium, and L-theanine, found in green tea (via Healthline). 

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