How Long Does Chemo Stay in Your Body? 

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How Long Does Chemo Stay in Your Body? 

How Long Does Chemo Stay in Your Body?  Hello Warrior, did you shortly pursue chemotherapy to treat the underlying cancerous growth, or is heading towards it, and you wonder how long does chemo stay in your body?

Well, I must say that; there is no fixed duration as such!

The chemotherapy drugs may take a few days to a few weeks to exit your body. This duration varies depending on myriads of factors, like your metabolism rate, the specific chemotherapy drug in use, the treatment regimen, and so forth!

Oncology doctors typically administer chemotherapy drugs in cycles, and each of these cycles includes a rest period following the treatment. This is when your body eliminates the drugs.

While the exact elimination time differs from one case to another, most chemotherapy drugs leave your body within some days. Sometimes, the drugs may take longer to exit, predominantly if they get metabolized by your liver or excreted through the kidneys.

A Brief on What Is A Chemotherapy?

How Long Does Chemo Stay in Your Body?

A group of medications, powerful and effective in treating deadly cancers throughout your body, is what we call chemotherapy.

Chemotherapy constitutes multiple mechanisms following –

  • The specific cancer type,
  • The cancer stage,
  • Treatment goal,
  • Whether the cancer is hormone-sensitive,
  • Whether your doctor wants to target a specific cancerous gene,
  • Your other preexisting medical condition and history, etc.

But the general pursuit is to slow down or stop the cancer cells from growing, as they typically divide and extend quickly, turning more life-threatening.

Sometimes, doctors administer chemo drugs intravenously, sometimes via injections, and sometimes orally; in the form of pills.

How Long Does Chemo Stay in Your Body?

The strong chemo drugs typically get broken down by your liver or kidneys and leave the body as – 1. Sweat, 2. Urine, 3. Stool, 4. Vaginal Fluids, 5. Vomit, or 6. Tears. Medical experts say that the majority of the chemo drugs get flushed out from your body within two days as body waste. However, some take a few more days!


How Long Does Chemo Stay in Your Body? 



With every passing day from the time of your treatment, the chemo amount getting flushed out turns less. Factors like your age, the presence of other medicines in your body, your kidney and liver condition, and many other determines how long the chemo stays in your body. Sometimes, it may even take around seven days or even more!

According to the American Cancer Society, your body requires about 48 to 72 hours to break down these chemo drugs and eliminate them from your bloodstream and overall physiological system.

Safety Measures To Follow For 48-72 Hours, While The Chemo Stays in Your Body!

Medical experts firmly note that while the drug wastes are outside your body, they can cause damage to your skin or the people nearby. Perhaps, while the duration for the chemo drugs to stay in your body and subsequently leave is uncertain, it’s salient for you to be careful during the first three days and follow certain safety measures.

How Long Does Chemo Stay in Your Body?

  1. Try to use a different toilet than a common one that your kids and family use too! In case there’s only one washroom, it’s requisite for you to clean the toilet seat every time you use it, and that too, by wearing proper gloves.
  2. Kindly make sure you flush the toilet twice after using them and put the lid down before doing so!
  3. Keep the toilet lid down unless you’re using it.
  4. Next, what you have to do is; wash your hands with soap and warm water every time you use the toilet. And then, you need to dry your hands with some paper towels, and do not forget; to throw them away.
  5. If there’s any body fluid in your clothes or bedsheets, make sure you do not wash them by hand but by machine. Also, do not mi8x them with other clothing.
  6. If you use diapers, sanitary pads, or throw-away underwear, seal them in two bags and get rid of them with your daily trash.

Side Effects of Chemo, Irrespective of How Long They Stay in Your Body: Note!

Perhaps, it’s essential for you to know that though chemotherapy drugs may leave your body relatively quickly, they come with side effects of chemotherapy that tend to persist for some time. Those side effects include –

  • Fatigue or extreme tiredness,
  • Loss of appetite,
  • Difficulty swallowing food,
  • Nausea or the constant feeling of throwing up,
  • Hair loss,
  • Dry skin,
  • Changes in your WBC (White Blood Cell) count,
  • Anemia or low red blood cell count,
  • Low platelet count, and therefore easy bleeding or bruising,
  • Loss of menstruation,
  • Weight gain,
  • Mood swings,
  • Weakness in the finger and toenails,
  • Muscle aches, bone aches,
  • Difficulty passing stool,
  • Diarrhea,
  • Insomnia,
  • Sore throat, etc.

Medical professionals state that the duration and severity of the aforementioned side effects vary among cancer patients and depend on the individual drugs and dosages used. But, they are typically for the short-term ones, while the long-term ones are –

  • Loss of your tooth enamel and other dental issues,
  • Early menopause and Infertility,
  • Infections,
  • Heart diseases,
  • Increased vulnerability to stroke,
  • Loss of hearing abilities,
  • Deteriorated cognitive functions,
  • Problems in your endocrine functioning,
  • Nerve damage,
  • Reduced lung capacity and various lung conditions, and more.

Final Remarks:

Now that you have an idea of; how long a chemo stay in the body and that; it may vary immensely from your case to another, please consult your doctor or the healthcare team whenever you have a specific concern regarding the definite chemo drugs you are up-taking.

They are the ones who can provide more detailed information regarding what to do and what not to do before, during, or after your cancer treatment. They can also help you get ways to detox your body from chemo drugs by following certain natural remedies, be it a special diet, vitamin supplements, or so forth.

Indeed, that’s why you must always rely on the instructions your healthcare team provides!

Whether you want to consult an oncology doctor online or know more about chemotherapy and other cancer treatment, do not miss staying tuned to

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About author
Hi, I’m Alka Tiwari, healthcare marketer at HealthFinder. I started this blog to help you provide better healthcare information directly from the doctors.
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