Carboplatin: High-Dose for SCT  (Generic Name)

Other Names: Paraplatin®, CBDCA

About this drug

Carboplatin is used to treat cancer. It may be included in pre-transplant chemotherapy. This drug is given intravenously (IV).

Possible Side Effects (More Common)

  • Nausea and vomiting. These symptoms may occur within one to six hours after you receive the drug and may last up to 24 hours.
  • Bone marrow depression. This is a decrease in the number of white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets. Bone marrow depression usually occurs five to seven days after the drug is given and may increase your risk of infection, fatigue, and bleeding. Transfusions of blood products may be required.
  • Hair loss. Most patients experience scalp and body hair loss. You may notice hair thinning five to seven days after receiving this drug. Usually hair loss is temporary; your hair should grow back when treatment is completed.
  • Soreness of the mouth and throat. You may have red areas, white patches, or sores that are painful.
  • Kidney function. This drug may affect how your kidneys work.  Your kidney function will be checked as needed,
  • Changes in electrolytes.  Your blood will be checked for electrolyte changes as needed.

Possible Side Effects (Less Common)

  • Numbness, tingling, or decreased sensation in fingers and toes
  • Changes in liver function. Your liver function will be checked as needed.
  • Allergic reactions to this drug are rare. Signs of allergic reaction are shortness of breath, rash or itching, dizziness or lightheadedness, or palpitations (feeling your heart beat rapidly).

Sexual Problems and Reproductive Concerns

  • In men and women both, this drug may temporarily or permanently affect your ability to have children. This cannot be determined before your therapy. In men, this drug may interfere with your ability to make sperm, but it should not change your ability to have sexual relations. In women, menstrual bleeding may become irregular or stop while you are receiving this drug. Do not assume that you cannot become pregnant if you do not have a menstrual period. Women may experience signs of menopause like vaginal dryness or itching.
    • Pregnancy warning: This drug may have harmful effects on the unborn child, so effective methods of birth control should be used during your cancer treatment.
    • Speak with your doctor or nurse if you plan to have children.  Ask for information on sperm and egg banking.
    • Genetic counseling is available to you to discuss the effect of this drug therapy on future pregnancies. In addition, a genetic counselor can review the potential risks of problems in the fetus due to this medication if an exposure during pregnancy has occurred.
    • Breast feeding warning:  It is not known if this drug passes into breast milk.  For this reason, women are advised to discuss with their doctor the risks and benefits of breast feeding during treatment with this drug because this drug may enter the breast milk and seriously harm a breast feeding infant.
    • Vaginal lubricants can be used to lessen vaginal dryness, itching, and pain during sexual relations.

Treating Side Effects

  • Drink 6-8 cups of fluids every day unless your doctor has told you to restrict your fluid intake due to another medical condition. A cup is 8 ounces of fluid. If you vomit or have diarrhea, you should drink more fluids so that you do not become dehydrated.
  • Ask your doctor or nurse about medication to help prevent or lessen nausea or vomiting.
  • Mouth care is very important. Your mouth care should consist of gently brushing with a very soft tooth brush and rinsing your mouth with a mixture of 1/2 teaspoon of salt in 8 ounces of water or 1/2 teaspoon of sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) in 8 ounces of water. This should be done at least after every meal and at bedtime.
  • Avoid mouthwash that contains alcohol. Avoid alcohol and smoking because they can irritate your mouth and throat.
  • Be careful when cooking, walking, and handling sharp objects and hot liquids.
  • Speak with your nurse about obtaining a wig before you lose your hair.  Also, call the American Cancer Society at 800-ACS-2345  to find out information  about the “ Look Good...Feel Better” program close to where you live. It is a free program where women undergoing chemotherapy learn about wigs, turbans and scarves as well as makeup techniques and  skin and nail care.

Food and Drug Interactions

There are no known interactions of carboplatin with food. This drug may interact with other medication. Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of the medication and dietary supplements (vitamins, minerals, herbs, and others) that you are currently taking. The safety and effectiveness of dietary supplements and alternative diets are often unknown. Using these might unexpectedly affect your cancer or interfere with your treatment. Until more is known, you should not use dietary supplements or alternative diets without your cancer doctor’s advice.

While you are receiving this drug by IV, tell your nurse immediately if you have any of the following symptoms of an allergic reaction:

    • Shortness of breath
    • Rash or itching
    • Dizziness or lightheadedness
    • Feeling your heart beat rapidly (palpitations)

When to Call the Doctor

Call your doctor or nurse immediately if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • Fever of 100.5 F (38 C) or above
  • Chills
  • Unusual bleeding or bruising
  • Uncontrolled nausea that prevents you from eating or drinking
  • Vomiting more than twice in one day

Call your doctor or nurse as soon as possible if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • Numbness, tingling, or decreased sensation in fingers or toes
  • Change in hearing; ringing in the ears
  • Blurred vision or other changes in vision
  • Yellowing of skin or eyes
  • Swelling in feet or legs
  • Diarrhea of five to seven stools a day or diarrhea with weakness or lightheadedness

Revised January 2011 

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