Advice on diet managing chronic Abemaciclib diarrhoea

Hi Alice 

i am on Abemaciclib and have been for a while. I have significant issues with diarrhoea I take Imodium with every dose but this is not effective.  My oncologist is aware and I obviously have read up both on standard paperwork supplied with the meds and info from online community taking this drug. I was wondering if you have experience in managing Abemaciclib diarrhoea and can give me advice. Thank you so much Amanda 

  • Hi Amanda,

    Diarrhoea can be a really debilitating symptom so I am not surprised that you want to try whatever you can to help.

    Firstly, speak again to your oncologist or specialist nurse about your medications. Some people require a very high dose of Immodium or are prescribed additional bowel slowing drugs such as Codeine Phosphate. Some patients also find it useful to take these regularly throughout the day, rather than just after a motion. See whether there is any nurses or doctors at your local centre with a specialist interest in these drugs, they will be likely to give you the best information.

    From a dietary point of view:

    People are often tempted to cut out fibre when they have diarrhoea. However certain types of fibre are important to bind stool together and slow transit time. This type of fibre is called soluble fibre and is present in oats, white carbohydrates and the fleshy parts of fruit and veg. You may find it helpful to increase this fibre whilst decreasing insoluble fibre (roughage) such as bran, wholegrain carbohydrates and  skins, seeds, pith and stalks on vegetables and fruit.

    Here is a guide to this diet, which we refer to as "low irritant, high fibre".

    Some people also find that taking a small amount of Psyllium or Ispaghula Husks can help to bind stool.

    Hopefully this will help you and give you some relief

    Best Wishes


    Remember you can also speak with the Macmillan Support Line team of experts. Phone free on 0808 808 0000 (7 days a week, 8am-8pm) or by email.  

  • Hi Alice 

    Thank you for your detailed reply, I am sure it will be very helpful. 

    Best regards Amanda