WE ARE THE MIGHTY FAMILY: As I sit here and write this, I can’t seem to stop crying. My heart is broken as I see my wife struggle and fight for every inch of her life. She is not only fighting for her selves but she is fighting for our daughters. There are many things that people who have not ever gone through this will understand and will not get it. People usually know the start of Cancer or the end of it. Most people do not know how we feel. This last chemo treatment was without a doubt the worst one thus far. This is just a simple example of the medication my wife has to take. These are the side effects and what her body has to go through. Read and educate yourselves because you never know when you or someone you love might go through this.
(SIS pla tin)
Trade Names: Platinol®, Platinol®-AQ
Other Name: CDDP
Cisplatin is the generic name for the trade name drug Platinol® and Platinol®-AQ. In some cases, health care professionals may use the trade name Platinol® and Platinol®-AQ, or other names such as CDDP, when referring to the generic drug name cisplatin.
Cisplatin is an anti-cancer (“antineoplastic” or “cytotoxic”) chemotherapy drug. This medication is classified as an “alkylating agent.” (For more detail, see “How Cisplatin Works” section below).
What Cisplatin Is Used For:
Treatment of advanced bladder cancer, metastatic ovarian cancer, and metastatic testicular cancer. Testicular, ovarian, bladder, head and neck, esophageal, small and non-small cell lung, breast, cervical, stomach and prostate cancers. Also to treat Hodgkin’s and non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas, neuroblastoma, sarcomas, multiple myeloma, melanoma, and mesothelioma.
Note: If a drug has been approved for one use, physicians may elect to use this same drug for other problems if they believe it may be helpful.
How Cisplatin Is Given:
Cisplatin is administered through a vein (intravenously or IV) as an infusion.
There is no pill form of cisplatin.
Cisplatin is an irritant. An irritant is a chemical that can cause inflammation of the vein through which it is given.
If cisplatin escapes from the vein it can cause tissue damage. The nurse or doctor who gives cisplatin must be carefully trained. If you experience pain or notice redness or swelling at the IV site while you are receiving cisplatin, alert your health care professional immediately.
Before and/or after the cisplatin infusion, extra IV fluids are given and care is taken to ensure adequate hydration before both during and after cisplatin, to protect your kidney function.
Cisplatin also has been used as an infusion into the abdominal cavity (contains the abdominal organs).
The amount of cisplatin that you receive depends on many factors, including your height and weight, your general health or other health problems, and the type of cancer that you have. Your doctor will determine your dose and schedule.
Important things to remember about cisplatin side effects:
Most people do not experience all of the cisplatin side effects listed.
Cisplatin side effects are often predictable in terms of their onset, duration, and severity.
Cisplatin side effects will improve after therapy is complete.
Cisplatin side effects may be quite manageable. There are many options to help minimize or prevent the side effects of cisplatin.
There is no relationship between the presence or severity of Cisplatin side effects and effectiveness of cisplatin.
The following side effects are common (occurring in greater than 30%) for patients taking Cisplatin:
Nausea and vomiting. Nausea may last up to 1 week after therapy. Anti-nausea medication is given before the infusion, and a prescription is also given for use after.
Low blood counts. Your white and red blood cells and platelets may temporarily decrease. This can put you at increased risk for infection, anemia, and/or bleeding. Nadir: Meaning low point, is the point in time between chemotherapy cycles in which you experience low blood counts.
Nadir: 18-23 days. Recovery: 39 days
Kidney toxicity. Effects on kidney function are dose related, observed 10-20 days after therapy, and are generally reversible.
Ototoxicity hearing loss, ringing in the ears.
Blood test abnormalities (low magnesium, low calcium, low potassium)
These are less common side effects (occurring in 10-29%) for patients receiving Cisplatin:
Peripheral neuropathy: Although less common, a serious side effect of decreased sensation and paresthesia (numbness and tingling of the extremities) may be noted. Sensory loss, numbness and tingling, and difficulty in walking may last for at least as long as therapy is continued. These side effects may become progressively more severe with continued treatment, and your doctor may decide to decrease your dose. Neurologic effects may be irreversible.
Loss of appetite
Taste changes, metallic taste
Increases in blood tests measuring liver function. These return to normal once treatment is discontinued. (see liver problems).
Hair loss may cause hair loss; however, this side effect is uncommon.
Not all cisplatin side effects are listed above, some that are rare (occurring in less than 10% of patients) are not listed here. However, you should always inform your health care provider if you experience any unusual symptoms.
Before starting cisplatin treatment, make sure you tell your doctor about any other medications you are taking (including prescription, over-the-counter, vitamins, herbal remedies, etc.). Do not take aspirin, products containing aspirin unless your doctor specifically permits this.
Cisplatin may be inadvisable if you have a history of severe allergic reaction to cisplatin, carboplatin, other platinum-containing formulations or mannitol.
Do not receive any kind of immunization or vaccination without your doctor’s approval while taking cisplatin.
Your fertility, meaning your ability to conceive or father a child, may be affected by cisplatin. Please discuss this issue with your health care provider.
Inform your health care professional if you are pregnant or may be pregnant prior to starting this treatment. Pregnancy category D (Cisplatin may be hazardous to the fetus. Women who are pregnant or become pregnant must be advised of the potential hazard to the fetus).
For both men and women: Use contraceptives, and do not conceive a child (get pregnant) while taking cisplatin. Barrier methods of contraception, such as condoms, are recommended. Discuss with your doctor when you may safely become pregnant or conceive a child after therapy.
Do not breast feed while taking cisplatin.
How Cisplatin Works:
Cancerous tumors are characterized by cell division, which is no longer controlled as it is in normal tissue. “Normal” cell stop dividing when they come into contact with like cells, a mechanism known as contact inhibition. Cancerous cells lose this ability. Cancer cells no longer have the normal checks and balances in place that control and limit cell division. The process of cell division, whether normal or cancerous cells, is through the cell cycle. The cell cycle goes from the resting phase, through active growing phases, and then to mitosis (division).
The ability of chemotherapy to kill cancer cells depends on its ability to halt cell division. Usually, the drugs work by damaging the RNA or DNA that tells the cell how to copy itself in division. If the cells are unable to divide, they die. The faster the cells are dividing, the more likely it is that chemotherapy will kill the cells, causing the tumor to shrink. They also induce cell suicide (self-death or apoptosis).
Chemotherapy drugs that affect cells only when they are dividing are called cell-cycle specific. Chemotherapy drugs that affect cells when they are at rest are called cell-cycle non-specific. The scheduling of chemotherapy is set based on the type of cells, rate at which they divide, and the time at which a given drug is likely to be effective. This is why chemotherapy is typically given in cycles.
Chemotherapy is most effective at killing cells that are rapidly dividing. Unfortunately, chemotherapy does not know the difference between the cancerous cells and the normal cells. The “normal” cells will grow back and be healthy but in the meantime, side effects occur. The “normal” cells most commonly affected by chemotherapy are the blood cells, the cells in the mouth, stomach and bowel, and the hair follicles; resulting in low blood counts, mouth sores, nausea, diarrhea, and/or hair loss. Different drugs may affect different parts of the body.
Cisplatin is classified as an alkylating agent. Alkylating agents are most active in the resting phase of the cell. These drugs are cell cycle non-specific.
Note: We strongly encourage you to talk with your health care professional about your specific medical condition and treatments. The information contained in this website is meant to be helpful and educational, but is not a substitute for medical advice.
Cisplatin, Lexicomp Online®. [11/21/2016; Lexi-Drugs. 11/17/2016]. Hudson, Ohio: Lexi-Comp, Inc.; November 21, 2016.