• How long does your chemo IV infusion usually take? Mine are relatively short compared to others I've heard. I thought it would be good

    Asked by downbutnotout on Saturday, August 9, 2014

    How long does your chemo IV infusion usually take? Mine are relatively short compared to others I've heard. I thought it would be good

    to hear how long everyone's has taken so that someone just starting might know what to expect. Mine has averaged about an hour.

    19 Answers from the Community

    19 answers
    • LiveWithCancer's Avatar

      Hi downbutnotout (love your name!)! I am being treated for lung cancer so my chemo plan is undoubtedly different. Even my own chemo has varied. When I first got started, I was on a cocktail of 3 drugs. The actual chemo (once the infusion began), lasted 4 or 5 hours. It was a very long day. We usually had to wait an hour to get the drugs before the infusion began, too. I received a treatment once every 3 weeks.

      After I moved to just one maintenance drug, I believe the infusion took about an hour but it also still took an hour to get it from the pharmacy. I received this treatment once every 3 weeks as well.

      Now, I am in a clinical trial where I am receiving immunotherapy. This infusion also takes an hour. It takes between 30 minutes and an hour for the pharmacy to release the drug. I go once every 2 weeks for this treatment.

      almost 7 years ago
    • Jalemans' Avatar

      My first infusion of the cycle only takes about an hour. My second one takes about 3 1/2 hours. This doesn't count drawing the blood or the pre meds. And yes, sometimes it takes a while for the drugs to come as Livewithcancer mentioned. I don't find it unpleasant - I bring magazines to read (& then leave for others).

      almost 7 years ago
    • GregP_WN's Avatar

      27 years ago when I had chemo, there were no pre-meds given, just sit down and drip. I had ABVD and MOPP. Both of those treatments only lasted 15 to 30 minutes. Sometimes I had to tell them to slow it down because it was burning my arms. Times sure have changed how they do this.

      almost 7 years ago
    • BoiseB's Avatar

      It really depends on the cancer. In my case the chemo was strapped on my body for 96 hours there was about two hours of infusions before it was attached to my body. I also had radiation treatments during that time.

      almost 7 years ago
    • Asanayogini's Avatar

      That's really good 1 hour, mine was 4 hours and that wasn't even long compared to some chemo pts. Good luck to all those out there starting chemo, sometimes it's not so bad

      almost 7 years ago
    • lilymadeline's Avatar

      Honestly I would ask the chemo nurses this question, but personally I don't think that there really is a normal amount of time, because everything depends on the patient, type of cancer, and type of chemo or chemo's used and how much. I know that some infusions are only an hour but some patients have 36 hour or even up to 48 hour infusions, UGH! Mine took about 7 to 8 hours total, from doing the initial blood work to the end of the infusion.

      almost 7 years ago
    • Ejourneys' Avatar

      I'm being treated for breast cancer. My four cycles of Adriamycin/Cytoxan took about three hours each, including pre-meds. Prior to the chemo drugs I got saline, Aloxi (anti-nausea), and Decadron (steroid); I also took Emend by pill. The Adriamycin push took about five minutes; the Cytoxan drip took about an hour. All told I spent about four hours in the cancer center, what with check-in, waiting room, blood work, and consult prior to chemo. I am now on 12 cycles of Taxol (10 rounds to go), which takes about two hours in the chair. The Taxol drip takes about an hour. Prior to that I get Aloxi, Decadron, and Benedryl.

      almost 7 years ago
    • Keith59's Avatar

      I just completed 4/4 Yervoy [email redacted] mins each once started.

      almost 7 years ago
    • kalindria's Avatar

      For my ovarian cancer, I had dose dense Carboplatin and Taxol one week and then two weeks of just Taxol in two nine week cycles. The combined infusion took about four hours: my pre-meds and then an about hour each for Cabo and Taxol.

      Now I'm doing just high dose Taxol as a maintenance chemo (currently in remission and trying to keep it that way) and the infusions take an hour or two longer. They up the speed at which the drip feeds me the chemicals, keeping a close eye on me for side effects. Same number of pre-meds.

      Your mileage may vary.

      almost 7 years ago
    • FreeBird's Avatar

      Gemzar-only chemo for pancreatic cancer stage 4 took about an hour to complete. Once a week for three weeks, then one week off. The hour included time for the pre-meds-- anti-nausea and the steroid.

      Some of the other people at the cancer center, there for other cancers, were there for many hours. One guy said he was going to be there for 8 hours. I don't know what he was getting.

      almost 7 years ago
    • bsktlady's Avatar

      When I had my first chemo treatments, Alimta & Cisplatin, for lung cancer, I went overnight to the hospital. I went in about 7:30 Thursday morning, they would hydrate my via I.V. for hours, and then chemo would begin in the early afternoon. I went home the next day around noon. These treatments were every 3 weeks. For my second go round, I went 3 Tuesdays a month. The first Tuesday I would get Carboplatin & Abraxane & would be there about 2 1/2 to 3 hours. The second & third Tuesdays I would just get Abraxane & I was there about an hour and a half. I have 3 months off! Yippee! Trying to enjoy my summer & not think about my next scan, but sometimes it's hard. Good luck to you!

      almost 7 years ago
    • ggort's Avatar

      Since July 2012 every 2weeks on Monday I am treated for Advanced Colon Cancer.
      I go to my Onogoligists office on a Monday around 11 AM once the infusion is started it is done in a half hour and then they hook up the chemo pump to my port and go home, I come back to have pump removed from my port on Wednesday around 9:00 AM

      almost 7 years ago
    • LindaAnnie's Avatar

      It's different for everyone depending on cancer, cancer drugs, pre-meds, and your statistics (like weight, heart rate, bp, and how fast they should run it). My breast cancer treatment began with blood work and consult and pre-meds. First drug infusion took about 2 hours; then saline flush about 1/2 hour; then second drug about 1 hour. Total time there = about 5 or 6 hours. Next day neulasta shot, about 10 minutes.

      almost 7 years ago
    • azsuper's Avatar

      For me iv chemo last 4- 41/2 hours. Then I take chemo pump home for 46 hours.

      almost 7 years ago
    • still_fighting's Avatar

      For me personally the first time I took chemo I had to take it 4 times a week for 6 to 8 hours a day then nothing for 3 weeks. This continued for almost a year. Now I'm on maintenance and it takes about 4 to 4-1/2 hours because I have a tendency of reacting to the drug. Like everyone said, it just depends on the cancer and how they are treating it.

      almost 7 years ago
    • SueRae1's Avatar

      Hugs, healing vibes and prayers. How long infusion takes depends on the cocktail, and the IV method. As others have mention the first treatment takes the longest because they set it really slow, to make sure that you don't have a bad reaction.

      each drug, chemo and pre-treament meds, have a different infusion time mine were between 20-min to 60 min. When I first started Gemzar I did not have a port, and it burned, so they slowed down the time from 30 to 60 min. Once I had a port in place, it took 30 min. Some depending where in my cycle I was I got pre-meds and between 1-3 chemo drugs.

      The longest infusion I had was the week they gave me cisplatin, I needed IV hydration for 2 hours before and after the 1 hour infusion + another 20 min for the pre-treatment drugs.

      almost 7 years ago
    • schweetieangel's Avatar

      Mine used to be 3 hrs and then take home for 48 hrs continuesly..
      now on new chemo i am usually under IV for 3 hrs but total time in Chemo lab is 4 1/2-5 hrs.. waiting time.

      almost 7 years ago
    • judyofthesouth's Avatar

      The actual chemo medicine took less than 30 minutes, but I was usually there for about 2 hours with blood drawing and premeds. Thank goodness, I am not taking chemo any more. I took a lot before I had stem cell. I am doing better now, but all of my hair has fallen out. I'll be so glad when it grows back!

      almost 7 years ago
    • sjdj23's Avatar

      All depends on what type of Chemo-My dads chemo for MM normally lasts 2,2-1/2 hrs (with blood draw,premeds). My husbands BC chemo varied from 4 hrs to 7hrs.

      over 6 years ago

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