Chemotherapy (CAPOX) drinks

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Hello, Fist here!

I am just over halfway through 4 cycles of CAPOX.  Can anyone tell me if it's ok to have an alcoholic drink now and then?  I like a glass of beer with my supper,  and the occasional glass of white wine with friends.  Also, I've been keeping away from crowded places,  as I understand that my immune system is compromised.  I am 76 years old and live alone...  I would like to go out now and then to cafes, etc.  Is this ok if they're not too crowded?

Would be good to hear answers or experiences.  I know some of you go back to work during treatment - I don't know if you work in crowded places.  I have a feeling that my immune system may not be as good as those of you who are younger than me,  so I'm taking Vit D oral spray daily.

  • Hi  I had a lovely down to earth oncologist who pretty much told me to do what I enjoyed so I had glasses of wine and the odd can of beer. Ice is best avoided and possibly cold drinks straight after your infusion - we went for a carvery after one of my sessions and I had a soda and lime ( no ice) and it was like drinking broken glass! 

    Yes chemo lowers your immunity but I still went to work in an office and did the weekly shop in the supermarket. My oncologist said she might have been concerned if I worked around a lot of children for example where there was potentially a lot of germs about but I enjoyed going to work as it was a distraction and made my life feel a bit more ‘normal’. Anyone with a cold avoided me and there were hand gels on the office desks (this was pre covid)

    Hope this helps - I personally think if a little drink helps get you through this, then cheers!

    Take care

    Karen x

    Macmillan Support Line - 0808 808 00 00, 7 days a week between 8am-8pm
  • Hi lovely,

    One or two alcoholic drinks are fine but if you’re unsure ask your oncologist or cancer nurse.

    my medical team we’re happy for me to have a beer or glass of wine a few times a week not to get drunk just to have with a meal.

    i was on Folfox infusion, then went on to have Capeceitban tablets alongside radiotherapy if that helps.

    everything in moderation you gotta keep living your best life as best you can Heart

  • Hi

    I didn't have the infusions, just the Capecitabine Tablets - back in 2020, during Covid, (I was 71 yrs then.) As it was during lockdown, I didn't go out much, but as the situation eased, I met with family & friends outside cafes & bars.

    As to alcohol, I never ever discussed this with my Oncologist - & just carried on with my normal life, which meant no adjustments to my eating, nor my alcohol consumption. I never found that my wine had any adverse effects during that time; & certainly didn't notice any problematical interaction with the tablets.

    I suppose my philosophy in life was at that time - 'I'm going through shit, but I'm not going to stop doing the things I enjoy.' Perhaps some might say that's a bit reckless - However, I believe that we should all enjoy what we feel is right for us, & be guided by our own needs, especially when faced with dire situations in life.

    I am still here, & so far cancer free, I will be 75 month.

    Wishing you the best


  • Thanks for your replies!,  which are reassuring... I will drink a glass of beer tonight when My brother arrives to stay with me for a week.  I haven't seen him for 5 years,  as he lives abroad,  so it will be nice to go out with him while he's here,  and feel relaxed about the occasional drink.  As the chemo makes ALL drinks taste horrible - especially water and tea,  but I've been told that I must drink at least 2 litres a day,  I think I could use a small pale ale as a quarter of that target.

  • I see alcohol as stealing your liver for a time. While it metabolises alcohol it is doing nothing else. So my plan is no drinkies days of chemo and  a few after, But then in moderation. If you lose 5 hours a week of your liver while it deals with booze, not such a biggie. 5 hours a day might be a problem.

    Doctors have mixed ideas though many stick to the moderation mantra.

  • My oncologist said she would dictate what I did or didn’t do but to be sensible. I’ve given up choir as that’s not a great germ free environment. As for alcohol I don’t really fancy it at the moment. Life has to go on so I think it’s what you feel comfortable with.