Carboplatin, a chemotherapy drug, belongs to a class of medications known as alkylating agents. Carboplatin is used to treat several types of cancers including mesothelioma. Carboplatin kills cancer cells by stopping their growth. As a platinum based agent, carboplatin kills cancer cells by interfering with DNA repair as it interacts with DNA.
This chemotherapy is sometimes given in combination with other chemotherapies. If you are using a combination therapy, it is important that you receive each one at the proper time. Nausea and vomiting, sometimes severe, are commonly caused by treatment but it is important to continue treatment despite these side effects. The dosage, time between doses, and length of time prescribed will be different for different patients and dependent on the strength of the medicine and the medical problem. Carboplatin is administered intravenously, typically over a 15 to 60 minute period.
It is important to have regular visits to check your progress with your physician while taking carboplatin to ensure the medication is working properly and not causing unwanted effects. The use of carboplatin may be affected by recent exposure to chickenpox, shingles, hearing problems, infection or kidney disease. Your doctor should be made aware of the presence of these illnesses should they occur before or during carboplatin treatment.
Drugs interactions can occur from eating certain food types or taking certain medications with food. The use of alcohol or tobacco may cause interactions to occur. You should talk to your doctor about the use of carboplatin with alcohol, or tobacco. Additionally, no one living in your household should take an oral polio vaccine as they may pass the polio virus to you. To avoid infection, anyone who has taken the oral polio vaccine within several months should be avoided. If you cannot take these precautions, a protective face mask that covers the nose and mouth might be needed.
You should not have any immunizations, or vaccinations, without approval from your doctor during or after carboplatin treatment. Carboplatin may lower your body's resistance and the introduction of an immunization may cause the infection you are trying to prevent.
Using carboplatin with phenytoin may increase the risk of some side effects. Your physician may change doses and usage of medications if both are prescribed to you. The number of white blood cells in your blood can temporarily be lowered by carboplatin treatment, increasing the chance of infection. Platelets, required for proper blood clotting, may also be lowered by carboplatin. To reduce the risk of infection and bleeding if this occurs, the following precautions may be taken:
- Caution should be used to prevent cuts when using sharp objects such as a fingernail or toenail cutter or a razor.
- Avoid situations where bruising or injury could occur.
- Avoid people with infections. Contact your doctor immediately if you have a fever or chills, cough or hoarseness, lower back or side pain, painful or difficult urination or if you think you are getting an infection.
- Try to avoid touching the inside of your nose or your eyes unless you have just washed your hands and have not touched anything else in the meantime.
- Consult your physician immediately if you have any unusual bleeding or bruising; black, tarry stools; blood in urine or stools; or pinpoint red spots on your skin.
- Be cautious when using a regular toothbrush, dental floss, or toothpick. Your doctor, dentist, or nurse may recommend alternative ways to clean your teeth and gums. Check with your mesothelioma doctor before having any dental work done.
Carboplatin can cause tissue damage, scarring, pain and ulcerations if it accidentally seeps out of the vein into which it is injected. Inform your doctor or nurse right away if you notice redness, pain, or swelling at the place of injection.
Carboplatin Side Effects
Side effects may occur along with intended effects as some normal cells may be affected by carboplatin. Due to reactions in the body, unwanted side effects may not appear for months or years after the medication is administered. These possible effects should be discussed with your doctor. Below you will find side effects that may be caused by your carboplatin mesothelioma treatment.
Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:
- Pain at the place of injection
- Black, tarry stools
- Blood in urine or stools
- Cough or hoarseness, accompanied by fever or chills
- Fever or chills
- Lower back or side pain, accompanied by fever or chills
- Numbness or tingling in fingers or toes
- Painful or difficult urination, accompanied by fever or chills
- Pinpoint red spots on skin
- Skin rash or itching
- Unusual bleeding or bruising
- Unusual tiredness or weakness
- Blurred vision
- Ringing in ears
- Sores in mouth and on lips
Some side effects may not need medical attention, and may disappear or lessen as your body adjusts to the medication. These side effects can still be inconvenient. Your doctor can answer questions and may be able to help you prevent or reduce them.
- Nausea and vomiting
- Unusual tiredness or weakness
- Constipation or diarrhea
- Loss of appetite
- Temporary hair loss
If you have any questions, do not hesitate to give us a call at 800-300-2919 or contact us online.