What Carboplatin Is Used For:
- Carboplatin is used to treat ovarian cancer.
- Carboplatin is also used for other types of cancer, including lung, head and neck, endometrial, esophageal, bladder, breast, and cervical; central nervous system or germ cell tumors; osteogenic sarcoma; and as preparation for a stem cell or bone marrow transplant.
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 Carboplatin Is Given:
- Carboplatin is usually given by infusion into a vein (intravenous, IV).
- Carboplatin can also be given intra-peritoneal, directly into the peritoneal cavity in the abdomen.
- The amount of Carboplatin you receive depends on many factors, including your height and weight, your general health or other health problems, and how your body responds to it. Your doctor will determine your dose and schedule.
Carboplatin Side Effects:
Important things to remember about the side effects of Carboplatin:
- Most people do not experience all of the side effects listed.
- Side effects are often predictable in terms of their onset and duration.
- Side effects are almost always reversible and will go away after treatment is complete.
- There are many options to help minimize or prevent side effects.
- There is no relationship between the presence or severity of side effects and the effectiveness of Carboplatin.
- The side effects of Carboplatin and their severity depend on how much of Carboplatin is given. In other words, high doses may produce more severe side effects).
The following side effects are common (occurring in greater than 30%) for patients taking Carboplatin:
- Low blood counts (including red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets)
- Before starting Carboplatin 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.
- Carboplatin 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 Carboplatin.
- Decreased sensation, numbness and tingling in fingers and toes may become progressively worse with repeated doses of Carboplatin. It is important to report this to your doctor.
- Inform your health care professional if you are pregnant or may be pregnant prior to starting this treatment. Pregnancy category D (Carboplatin 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: Do not conceive a child (get pregnant) while taking Carboplatin. 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 Carboplatin.
Carboplatin Self-Care Tips:
- Drink at least two to three quarts of fluid every 24 hours, unless you are instructed otherwise.
- You may be at risk of infection so try to avoid crowds or people with colds, and report fever or any other signs of infection immediately to your health care provider.
- Wash your hands often.
- To help treat/prevent mouth sores, use a soft toothbrush, and rinse three times a day with 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of baking soda and/or 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of salt mixed with 8 ounces of water.
- Use an electric razor and a soft toothbrush to minimize bleeding.
- Avoid contact sports or activities that could cause injury.
- To reduce nausea, take anti-nausea medications as prescribed by your doctor, and eat small, frequent meals.
- Avoid sun exposure. Wear SPF 15 (or higher) sunblock and protective clothing.
- In general, drinking alcoholic beverages should be kept to a minimum or avoided completely. You should discuss this with your doctor.
- Get plenty of rest.
- Maintain good nutrition.
- If you experience symptoms or side effects, be sure to discuss them with your health care team. They can prescribe medications and/or offer other suggestions that are effective in managing such problems.