How Long After Chemotherapy Can I Drive (And Why)?

Exact Answer: Six Hours

Chemotherapy is the primary treatment to treat cancer, as cancer cells grow rapidly than other cells. A different mixture of compounds is used for therapy which often relies on Cancer type. Duration of treatment varies from person to person from weeks to months. Chemotherapy may also be used for curing system disorders.

Chemotherapy is an effective way to treat cancer, bone marrow diseases, and many other medical conditions. But it has some side-effects as well. Although some of these are mild and can be treated, some can cause severe complications as well. Some of these include vomiting, bleeding, diarrhea, nausea, damage to lung issues, etc.

How Long After Chemotherapy Can I Drive?

Chemotherapy is of various types, including Standard Chemotherapy, Cytotoxic Chemotherapy, and Traditional Chemotherapy. Standard Chemotherapy works by killing the growing cells which are harmful to the body, like cancer cells. Cytotoxic Chemotherapy is a treatment that kills the rapid growth of harmful cells but does relatively minor damage to the normal cell, unlike Standard Chemotherapy, which kills both the cells. Traditional Chemotherapy, on the other hand, uses drugs that mainly help to kill the tumor cells.

There is a different goal for the chemotherapy depending upon the condition of the body, sometimes it can help get rid of all the harmful cells in the body, and other times it is a preventive procedure to prevent the growth of the harmful cells and to stop it from spreading in the body. The bone marrow is affected in a way that it would produce low red and white blood cells and blood platelets. The compromising of the white blood cells in the body makes the body prone to infection. Chemotherapy messes with the patient’s immune system, and whereas some people get back to normal after two or three months, it might take others up to even nine months to get their immune system back to normal. 

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Events After ChemotherapyTime After Chemotherapy
RunningOne to two hours
DrivingSix hours

Many patients feel weak and less concentrated after chemotherapy. If a person wants to run, they must give the body one to two hours of rest. It is advised to avoid driving for at least six hours after chemotherapy.

Why Does It Take That Long After Chemotherapy To Drive?

As Chemotherapy affects the bone marrow and its ability to produce red and white blood cells, and blood platelets, the body becomes more prone to infections due to the lack of white blood cells. Hence, the immune system of the body is affected. All kinds of Chemotherapy would affect the body’s working; the severity of the action depends upon some factors like the kind of medication being taken, how often chemotherapy is taking place, how long the treatment lasts, etc. There are two ways of the medicines being taken into the body, the first is in the shape of pills, and the second is intravenous treatments where the medicine is injected into veins in the arm, chest, or hands.

However, the person can take some measures to take care of their health even during the chemotherapy by following some rules. The first could be getting enough rest so that the body does not feel the fatigue of the Chemotherapy medicines and can relax. Further, a healthy diet plan should be discussed with the doctor to give the body energy which can be otherwise drained during the procedure.

It takes that long after chemotherapy to drive because the body needs ample time to rest and heal properly. There are various symptoms that you can find when the body is treated by chemotherapy. You may experience a fever that is higher than 100.5 Fahrenheit, i.e., 38 Centigrade. You may also experience chills or sweating.

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Conclusion

Chemotherapy is a treatment that uses drugs to kill the harmful, rapidly growing cells in the body. It is usually used to treat cancer but is also effective in bone marrow diseases and immune system disorders. During Chemotherapy, the drugs are entered into the body, either by pills or intravenous treatments, and attack the harmful growing cells in the body.

On average, it takes six hours after chemotherapy to drive because of the weakness in the body and disruption in concentration. You can take good care of your body before, during, and after chemotherapy. You need to take a good rest, exercise, and reducing stress.

References

  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1368837518304548
  2. https://www.breastcancer.org/tips/immune/cancer/chemo
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