Common Side Effects of Chemo and How To Cope

If you are going through chemo or you know someone is, it is important to be aware of the common side effects caused by chemotherapy. While every side effect doesn’t affect everyone, it is helpful to know what to expect, so that you are prepared and ready to cope.


Common Side Effects of Chemo and How To Cope With Them


  1. Fatigue
  2. Hair loss
  3. Bruising
  4. Nausea
  5. Vomiting
  6. Changes in appetite
  7. Constipation
  8. Diaherra
  9. Changes in weight
  10.  Changes in mood
  11. Fertility issues
  12. Chemo brain
  13. Changes in sexual function
  14. Nerve problems
  15. Anemia


While this list does not include all of the possible side effects, trust that your doctor and care team are working hard to make sure that you stay as healthy as possible. This includes prescribing medicine that will help fight off certain side effects of chemotherapy treatments. Most of these side effects are temporary and will go away with time, others are long lasting. 


How to Cope with the Side Effects of Chemotherapy


Are you looking for more ways to cope with your side effects? If so, we want to help! While you may be able to cope with the less serious side effects with a change in your diet, other side effects may not be so easy to handle on your own. Check out Cleveland Clinic’s website for more detailed recommended coping methods. 


Serious Side Effects that Need Medical Attention


You also need to be aware that while most side effects are minor and should be expected after going through extensive treatment, other side effects can be very serious. If you experience any of these side effects during your treatment talk to your doctor or care team right away. 


  1. A fever (100.5 or greater)
  2. Bleeding 
  3. Bloody stool or urine
  4. Intense headaches
  5. Trouble swallowing 
  6. Trouble breathing
  7. Allergic reaction
  8. Unexplained bruising
  9. Pain or soreness at the injection site
  10. Diarrhea or vomiting that won’t stop


Again, we want to stress that these aren’t all of the symptoms that could be behind more serious issues. While going through treatments it is important that you talk openly with your primary care physician about any red flags that you should be watching for. If you are unsure or tend to be forgetful, don’t be afraid to write them down so you can tend to them right away. 


Patient Support


We want to be here for you during every step of your journey! If you have any questions or are just looking for more information to understand what is going on, please feel free to view our Patient Support page. We are pleased to provide you with the support you need.