Carboplatin side effects

Carboplatin is a drug used in chemotherapy cancer treatments for a variety of cancers. It is generally used in treating ovarian and lung cancer, but it can also be used during treatment therapy for other cancer types as well. Carboplatin comes in the form of a transparent and colorless fluid which can be administered as a drip infusion in one of the following ways: it is either inserted via a fine tube placed into a vein in the back of the hand, through a similar tube but this time inserted under the skin into a vein close to the collarbone or it is inserted through a fine tube into a vein in the crook of the arm.

A carboplatin infusion lasts for about an hour to complete and in the course of the therapy it is usually administered in several sessions over a period of months. The duration of the treatment and the number of treatment sessions will depend on the type of cancer that one is being treated for. During these treatment sessions carboplatin will usually be paired with other chemotherapy drugs as part of a combination regimen.

The drug was discovered and then later developed in London and it was introduced on the market in March 1989. Since then it has been increasing in use thanks to its considerably smaller list of side-effects when compared to other chemotherapy drugs and especially cisplatin, the compound it is created from. But even so, just as it is with any chemotherapy drug, there is still a long list of possible side effects that can appear during the treatment with carboplatin. These are also very subjective in the sense that while some individuals suffer from very few side effects of the drug, others may experience more of them.

One of the most common possible side effects is that of a decreased ability to fight off infection. This is due to the fact that carboplatin has been observed to reduce the production of white blood cells in some individuals, thus making them more prone to infection. This lowering in white blood cell count will usually start being noticed after about a week of treatment and it reaches its minimum after about ten to fourteen days of chemotherapy. This effect is only temporary and your white blood cells will usually return to normal levels before the next course of chemotherapy. This is checked before starting a new course of chemotherapy and it may be delayed if your blood count is still low.

Carboplatin can also cause bruising, bleeding and anemia. The bruising and the bleeding happen because the drug can decrease the production of platelets or thrombocytes, which help the blood clot. This can lead to unexplained nosebleeds, bleeding gums, blood spots or rashes on the skin.

Nausea and loss of appetite come as side effects of all chemotherapy treatment drugs; nausea can begin at any time during the treatment, usually after the treatment is given and can last for up to an entire day, and this leads to a general loss of appetite. Both these problems can be taken care of or managed through anti-sickness drugs and advice on how to boost your appetite and maintain your weight. Also these are much less severe than in the case of cisplatin.

There is ongoing research into the possibilities of carboplatin, a recent study suggesting that it might be up to twenty times more effective than the usual treatment in certain cases of breast cancer, but there haven’t been any human clinical trials yet.

Carboplatin has also been used in treating testicular cancer in individuals with stage 1 seminoma, recent research indicating that this approach is more effective than the adjuvant radiotherapy.

Last updated on Jun 13th, 2010 and filed under Drugs and Medications. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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