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Cisplatin (Platinol, Platinol®-AQ)

by Mathew Marshall
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Cisplatin (Platinol, Platinol®-AQ)

Warnings: Cisplatin may cause serious kidney problems and/or very serious allergic reactions. Bone marrow suppression, hearing loss (more common in children), bleeding problems and severe nausea and vomiting may occur while taking this medication. This risk of these side effects will increase with the dosage you are taking.

Talk to your doctor about any of the following symptoms: changes in the amount of your urine, trouble breathing, rashes, swelling of the face, dizziness, fast heartbeat, ringing in the ears, easy bruising or bleeding, unusual tiredness or weakness, signs of infection (fever, chills, sore throat), vomiting or nausea.

Indications:  Cisplatin is a drug composed of platinum that is used to treat various types of cancer. It is a chemotherapy drug that is meant to slow or stop cancer growth.  Cisplatin is used, most of the times, in association with other anticancer drugs, to treat the following cancers:

·         multiple myeloma

·         melanoma

·         mesothelioma

·         testicular cancer

·         ovarian cancer

·         bladder cancer

·         head and neck cancer

·         esophageal cancer

·         small cell lung

·         non-small cell lung

·         breast cancer

·         cervical cancer

·         stomach cancer

·         Prostate cancer

·         Hodgkin’s lymphoma

·         non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma

·         Sarcomas

Dosage:  This medication is given by an IV injection from a medical professional. The dosage is dependent upon your height, weight and response to therapy. This treatment should not be given more than once every 3 to 4 weeks. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist for more details.


It is important to drink more fluid while on this medication to ensure you don’t have any side effects from your kidneys. Intravenous fluids should be included with this treatment. Ask your doctor how much you should be drinking.

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If this medication comes in contact with your skin, wash immediately with soap and water.

Overdose:  the fact that Cisplatin is administered in hospital, the risk of overdose decreases considerably; but it does not mean I cannot happen. Cisplatin overdose leads mainly to kidney failure and bone marrow depression – a condition in which the bone marrow is unable to produce normal amounts of red blood cells (RBCs), white blood cells (WBCs) and platelets.

In addition, cisplatin overdose can cause liver failure, deafness, eye problems (retinal detachment), intractable vomiting (the fact that you are unable to stop the vomiting), neuritis (inflammation of a nerve or a portion of the nervous system), and even death. If you think you’ve been given an overdose of Cisplatin, contact immediately your doctor or the poison control center nearest you.

Missing dose:  Cisplatin is administered in hospital; therefore missing dose is basically difficult if you keep all your doctor or lab appointments. If for some reasons you cannot be present at the hospital for the treatment, contact your oncologist before the date scheduled for the injection. Don’t stay home because you are experiencing side effects; Cisplatin causes adverse effects in most patients.

Contraindication:  Tell your doctor if you are allergic to carboplatin or any other allergies you have before taking this medication. Before taking this medication tell your doctor if you have kidney disease, decreased bone marrow function, loss of hearing and/or blood cell disorders. Tell your doctor all of your medical history, including mineral imbalance, numbing, tingling of the hands and feet, kidney stones and gout.

Don’t receive any immunizations without first consulting your doctor. Avoid people that have had recent oral polio vaccinations.

Caution should be used when using this drug in elderly patients, as they are more susceptible to the side effects. The same caution should be used for children, as they are more susceptible to the side effects, including hearing loss. Pregnant women should not use this medication. Birth defects are possible.

Interactions: Some medications can interact with Cisplatin and cause many harmful side effects. Aminoglycoside antibiotics, amphotericin B, anti-seizure medications, certain “water pills” (loop diuretics such as furosemide, bumetanide, ethacrynic acid), nalidixic acid, pyridoxine when used in combination with both altretamine and Cisplatin can all have harmful interactions with this medication. Consult with your doctor and pharmacist before receiving this treatment.

Side effects:  In addition to cancer cells, cisplatin also damage normal cells, which causes various side effects in most patients. The most common cisplatin side effects include:

  • hair loss
  • fatigue
  • decreased appetite
  • weight loss
  • diarrhea or constipation
  • nausea and vomiting
  • changes in taste
  • Numbness or tingling in the fingertips and toes.

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Cisplatin can cause serious side effects which require immediate medical attention; contact your doctor immediately if you experience any of these symptoms:

  • high fever
  • chills
  • seizures
  • shortness of breath
  • breathing difficulty
  • unusual bruising or bleeding
  • dizziness or/and faintness
  • pain in your side or back
  • Swelling of your feet or ankles.
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