FOLFIRI Chemotherapy regimen

by Ross Bonander

The combination chemotherapy regimen known as FOLFIRI consists of the following drugs:

  • FOLolinic acid (leucovorin)
  • Fluorouracil (5-FU)
  • IRInotecan (irinotecan)

A Typical FOLFIRI Regimen (regimens should be tailored to the individual)

  • Cycle length: 14 days
  • Number of cycles: Varies
  • Day 1: Irinotecan (IV)
  • Days 1 & 2: Leucovorin (IV), fluorouracil (IV push)

Vomit potential?

Day 1 & 2: Moderately high

What it's effective for and why

The FOLFIRI chemotherapy regimen was designed and is used almost strictly in patients with advanced, metastatic colorectal cancer. It is very similar in regimen to the FOLFOX regimen.

Side effects

Because nausea and/or vomiting are so likely in the FOLFIRI regimen, aggressive and proactive management of these symptoms with antiemetic medications is extremely important to mitigate these effects, Another very frequent problem with the FOLFIRI regimen is diarrhea which, like the nausea, requires active management by one's oncology team.


  • Boyiadzis, Michael M. et al. Hematology-Oncology Therapy. 2007. New York: McGraw Hill, Medical Publishing Division.

Significant studies and papers relevant to FOLFIRI/h3>


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