Carboplatin is an anticancer drug (“antineoplastic” or “cytotoxic”) chemotherapy drug. Carboplatin is classified as an “alkylating agent.”
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:
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)
Nadir: Meaning low point, nadir is the point in time between chemotherapy cycles in which you experience low blood counts.
Onset: None reported
Nadir: 21 days
Recovery: 28 days
Nausea and vomiting usually occurring within 24 hours of treatment
Blood test abnormalities: Abnormal magnesium level
These are less common (occurring in 10-29%) side effects for patients receiving Carboplatin:
Burning sensation at the injection site
Peripheral neuropathy: Although uncommon, 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.
Central neurotoxicity: Infrequent but patients over age 65 are at increased risk. Symptoms include dizziness, confusion, visual changes, ringing in the ears.
Nephrotoxicity (see kidney problems): More frequent when Carboplatin is given in high doses or to people with kidney problems.
Hearing loss (ototoxicity) – loss of high pitched sounds.
Abnormal blood liver enzymes (SGOT, Alkaline phosphatase) (see liver problems).
Cardiovascular events. Although infrequent, heart failure, blood clots and strokes have been reported with Carboplatin use. Less than 1% were life-threatening.
Allergic reaction may occur. It would occur during the actual transfusion. This may include itching, rash, shortness of breath or dizziness (especially in patients who have received cisplatin).
Not all 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.