Skip Navigation

Regimen Information

For FOLFIRI , including Side Effects


Drugs in this Regimen:

For the treatment of Colon Cancer

How FOLFIRI chemotherapy is given and possible side effects.

FOLFIRI for the treatment of Colon Cancer

FOLFIRI is the acronym for a chemotherapy regimen used in the treatment of colon cancer.



= Leucovorin Calcium (Folinic Acid)


= Fluorouracil


= Irinotecan Hydrochloride

Chemotherapy is often given as a combination of drugs. Combinations usually work better than single drugs because different drugs kill cancer cells in different ways.


  • Nausea & Vomiting

  • Risk of Infection

  • Mouth Sores

  • Anemia

For more information, see the 'Expert Resources' tab below.

Community Responses

Often, the most helpful information regarding treatment side effects comes not from clinical brochures, but rather from other patients like you. We've collected the most helpful community resources to help you prepare for the side effects and coping tips for your chemotherapy regimen.

What side effects did you experience while on this medication?

the first side effect, I successfully coped with was the smoky tar smell and taste in my nose which seemed to make me have a slight headache as well, My wife bought a type of gelatin in a bag from Walmart called something like red natural in a bag and prepared it. I ate some and the smell dissipated and went away, I later found just by holding a bite , she cut it in squares for me it , on to of my teeth under my upper lip just below my nose , it works rapidly to totally remove that smell for a long time, Palliative care doctor was very surprised because he did not know anything that worked before.
Eating it works slower on your nose but works a little on the second side effect, More irritating and harmful was the similar but stronger terrible taste in my stomach which contributed immensely to losing 6.8 pounds between the first treatment and the scheduled date of the second chemo ( 2 weeks). Please note the above coping with the gelatin/jello stuff started after I was discovered to have the weight loss and also had a too low white cell blood count making it inadvisable to get chemo as scheduled. o I wanted to get the taste out of my belly , eat more, and get my white blood cells increased. I for some reason wanted buttermilk which I had not drank to any degree in 30 years. It cooled and cleansed my stomach and throat drinking about an ounce at a time. Note it tastes much better this way rather than trying to avoid the taste by sipping. My son says it is same when you eat salsa, you need sufficient amounts in the bite to taste good. I looked up buttermilk on internet and it listed 25 great applicable benefits- most of which I believe would be helpful to anyone undergoing chemo. including lots of protein, calming stomach, preventing dehydration, pre biotic, and pro biotic etc. Not wanting to drink buttermilk constantly I started adding some non salt top saltine crackers my wife got me at Meijers. The regular slated saltines were intolerable. When I munched the crackers they filled my stomach ad seemed to spread the calming better than the buttermilk alone.across my stomach and my food began to taste better. I knew I had to gain the weight and I read on the internet that you eat more if you eat faster, so I turned to Greek ( not Chobani ) yogurt with some blackberry sauce my wife added so I could actually mix the bites the way I wanted. I then wanted soft easy to swallow foods. with meat cut into small portions so it was was pork roast, and chicken st

  • Fri Oct 20, 2017

Pain in sinus at top of my nose and sometimes behind eye a sharp stabbing pain one eye or the other and sometimes both

  • Wed May 22, 2013

This discussion needs your voice!

What were the specific side effects that you experienced while taking this medication? How did you manage them?

What coping tips would you give to new patients on this regimen?

There are currently no answers to this question. Be the first to answer!

This discussion needs your voice!

What do you wish you had known before taking this medication? What information would you like to pass on to patients who are beginning this medication?

Treatment Overview

This chemotherapy regimen is commonly used to treat:

Other chemotherapy regimens for the treatment of Colon Cancer:

See Expert Resources

The Navigating Care Library includes articles about cancer, chemotherapy regimens and drugs from the the National Cancer Institute and other experts.