Yum, Yum - Part 2
I have one kink in my requirements: two medications must be taken on an empty stomach (Nexavar and Levothyroxine). "Empty stomach" means no food for two hours before, and one hour after, taking the medication. I've gotten around that by scheduling those medications in mid-afternoon, between 2:00 and 4:00 p.m. Those taking Nexavar on the normal schedule (that is, 4 times more than I'm taking) have the additional burden of scheduling that medication twice. My buddy Bruce sets an alarm for 4:00 a.m., takes his Nexavar, and goes back to bed.
Lest you think that the "empty stomach" requirement isn't a big deal, ignoring it can alter how the drug is taken up by the body. If Nexavar is taken with food, for example, its effectiveness is reduced by 60-75%. Why go through all those side effects for nothing? Yet the "empty stomach" recommendation, the standard for clinical trials and oncologists' advice, may not be universal. A recent study suggests that, in some cases, drug efficacy may in fact be improved by taking it with food.
It's become a controversial subject in oncological circles, and more research will be required. Ohio State University is seeking grants to study the relationship between nutrition and cancer therapies; I suspect others will be delving into this too. The more they find out, the better off we are.