Cisplatin

(Generic Name) Other Names: Platinol®, platinum

About This Drug

Cisplatin is a drug used to treat cancer. This drug is given intravenously (IV).

Possible Side Effects

  • Allergic reactions to this drug are rare, but may occur in some patients. Signs of allergic reaction are rash or itching, dizziness or lightheadedness, shortness of breath, or palpitations (feeling your heart beat rapidly).
  • Bone marrow depression. This is a decrease in the number of white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets. Bone marrow depression usually occurs 18 to 23 days after the drug is given and may increase your risk of infection, fatigue, and bleeding.
  • Nausea and vomiting. These symptoms may occur within the first hour of treatment and may last for a few days to a week.
  • Changes in kidney function. This drug may effect how your kidneys work. You may experience a decrease in urination, weight gain, or abnormal changes in your electrolytes. You may develop anemia, which is a low red blood cell count that may cause you to feel extremely tired. Your kidney function will be checked as needed.
  • High-frequency hearing loss may occur. Using IV fluids before and during the Cisplatin infusion may reduce or prevent this condition. Occasionally ringing in the ears occurs.
  • Numbness or tingling in your fingers, toes, or face
  • Blurred vision
  • Soreness of the mouth and throat. You may have red areas, white patches, or sores that are painful.
  • Sexual problems and reproduction concerns may occur. 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 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.
    • This drug may have harmful effects on the unborn child, so effective methods of birth control should be used during your cancer treatment.
    • 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.

Treating Side Effects

  • Ask your doctor or nurse about medication that is available to help you prevent or lessen nausea or vomiting.
  • Mouth care is very important. Your mouth care should consist of regular, gentle cleaning of your teeth or dentures 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.
  • Use effective methods of birth control during your cancer treatment.
  • Vaginal lubricants can be used to lessen vaginal dryness, itching, and pain during sexual relations.
  • Speak with your doctor or nurse if you plan to have children. Ask for information on sperm or egg banking.
  • Drink plenty of fluids for 24 hours after receiving this drug.

Food and Drug Interactions

There are no known interactions of Cisplatin with food. This drug may interact with other medications. Tell your doctor and pharmacist all the medications that you are currently taking.

When to Call the Doctor

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

  • Rash or itching, dizziness or lightheadedness, palpitations, shortness of breath
  • Wheezing
  • Swelling of face
  • Fever of 100.5 F (38 C) or higher
  • Chills
  • Unusual bleeding or bruising
  • Decrease in urine output
  • Weight gain of five pounds or more in one week
  • 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 the following symptoms:

  • Numbness, tingling, or decreased sensation in fingers, toes, or face
  • Clumsiness in buttoning clothes, opening jars, or other routine activities
  • Changes in vision
  • Changes in hearing
  • Painful mouth or throat that makes it difficult to eat or drink
  • Extreme fatigue that interferes with normal activities

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