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What Is Carboplatin?

Jacquelyn Gilchrist
Jacquelyn Gilchrist

Carboplatin is a medication prescribed to treat ovarian cancer. A doctor may also prescribe it to patients who have cancer of the lungs, bladder, or breast. Patients with brain tumors, testicular cancer, and endometrial cancer may also benefit from it. This drug is an alkylating agent and a platinum-containing compound that may work by slowing the reproduction of abnormal, cancerous cells. Carboplatin is commonly marketed under the brand name Paraplatin® in the U.S.

Patients will receive carboplatin as an injection administered intravenously, or by IV, directly into a vein. A doctor must administer this injection and it is not available for home use. Each patient's dosage is determined on an individual basis, according to his response to the drug and body weight. The physician will closely monitor the patient with blood tests, kidney function tests, and other evaluations. He will also check the patient's reflexes, specifically of the fingers and toes, to check for drug toxicity, which can result in numbness of the digits.

Carboplatin, a chemotherapy medication, can be administered intravenously.
Carboplatin, a chemotherapy medication, can be administered intravenously.

Some serious side effects may be experienced with the use of carboplatin, which require immediate medical care. Patients should call their doctors immediately if they experience problems breathing, chest pain, or shortness of breath. Chills and a fever higher than 100.5 degrees Fahrenheit are signs of a possible infection.

Other serious side effects can occur while using carboplatin. The patient should call his doctor as soon as possible or within 24 hours if he experiences severe abdominal pain, persistent nausea, and persistent diarrhea. Bloody urine, tarry stools, and unusual bruising or bleeding may also occur. Some patients have reported mouth or lip sores, changes in hearing, and changes in vision. Dizziness, confusion, and extreme fatigue, along with muscle cramps can also be serious.

Carboplatin can also cause other side effects, which patients should discuss with their doctors if they are severe. Loss of appetite, weight loss, and constipation can occur. Many patients have reported brittle or thinned hair, along with mild stomach pain and constipation. Changes in taste and mild nausea or vomiting have also occurred.

This chemotherapy medication is not intended for use by women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. A barrier method of birth control is recommended. Patients should also avoid having a vaccination without the prescribing physician's approval. Those who have kidney disease or other medical conditions should inform the doctor before using carboplatin.

Other medications and supplements can interact with this medication. Patients must inform the doctor if they use aspirin, any other platinum-containing compounds, or any other drugs that can interfere with a person's hearing. Carboplatin may interact with vitamins, amikacin, and kanamycin.

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    • Carboplatin, a chemotherapy medication, can be administered intravenously.
      By: tawesit
      Carboplatin, a chemotherapy medication, can be administered intravenously.