How it works
It's unclear how Claritin -- an antihistamine -- relieves the severe bone pain that is a common side effect of Neulasta, a bone marrow stimulant that revs up the growth of healthy white blood cells after chemotherapy is given. There are reported trials underway to investigate this remedy.
What you'll need
The side effects of my chemotherapy were compounded by the severe bone pain that came with the Neulasta shot that I had to self-inject the day after each treatment. Neulasta is used with certain chemotherapy drugs to lessen the incidence of infections by stimulating the bone marrow to produce white blood cells. Given that our greatest marrow reserves are located in our pelvis and femur, I felt the pain most in those areas. I tried Tylenol, ice packs, heating pads, acupuncture, and massage therapy, but everything fell short when it came to controlling the intense pain. Then, in passing, my oncologist suggested that I try Claritin, explaining that it is unclear why it helps bone pain for some chemotherapy patients. Once I went on the Claritin protocol, I found relief -- no more bone pain. So, I highly recommend talking to your oncologist to find out if you can use Claritin without interfering with your chemotherapy.