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Cisplatin (Platinol, Platinol®-AQ)

Cisplatin (Platinol, Platinol®-AQ) 

Brand name: Platinol, Platinol®-AQ    

Generic name: Cisplatin  

Another name: CDDP 

Therapeutic Class:  alkylating agent  

Availability:   Cisplatin is available by prescription only   

Dosage form: Cisplatin comes in a solution form for intravenous infusion  

Cisplatin (Platinol, Platinol®-AQ)

Indications: Cisplatin is used, most of the times,  in association with other anticancer drugs, to treat the following cancers: 

  • multiple myeloma 
  • melanoma 
  • mesothelioma  
  • testicular cancer 
  • ovarian cancer 
  • bladder cancer 
  • head and neck cancer 
  • esophageal cancer 
  • small cell lung 
  • nonsmall cell lung 
  • breast cancer 
  • cervical cancer 
  • stomach cancer  
  • Prostate cancer 
  • Hodgkin's lymphoma 
  • non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma 
  • Sarcomas.    

Cisplatin can be used in the treatment of other medical conditions not mentioned in this article; talk to your doctor or pharmacist for more information.  

Dosage: to prescribe an appropriate dose, your physician will consider your height, other cancer drugs that you are taking, and the type of cancer you have. However, the dose most often used in monochemotherapy is 50-100 mg/m² of body surface area every three or four weeks, in a single dose; or 15 - 20 mg/m²/day for 5 consecutive days. In general, Cisplatin is administered in hospitals by physicians or nurses who have experience in oncology. Throughout the treatment, special monitoring is necessary. The therapy should be stopped completely for 4 weeks after each treatment cycle.   

In some cases, your doctor may recommend a different dose. Whatever the dosage recommended, it is important to complete the treatment in case there are no major complications. In addition, you must drink plenty of fluid during and after administration of Cisplatin; this simple method helps your body rid itself of the toxic effects of the drug, and prevent kidney damage. 

Overdose: the fact that Cisplatin is administered in the hospital, the risk of overdose decreases considerably; but it does not mean it cannot happen. Cisplatin overdose leads mainly to kidney failure and bone marrow depression - a condition in which the bone marrow is unable to produce normal amounts of red blood cells (RBCs), white blood cells (WBCs), and platelets. 

 In addition, cisplatin overdose can cause liver failure, deafness, eye problems (retinal detachment), intractable vomiting (the fact that you are unable to stop the vomiting), neuritis (inflammation of a nerve or a portion of the nervous system), and even death. If you think you've been given an overdose of Cisplatin, contact immediately your doctor or the poison control center nearest you. 

Missing dose: Cisplatin is administered in the hospital; therefore missing a dose is basically difficult if you keep all your doctor or lab appointments. If for some reason you cannot be present at the hospital for the treatment, contact your oncologist before the date scheduled for the injection. Don’t stay home because you are experiencing side effects; Cisplatin causes adverse effects in most patients. 

Contraindication: Cisplatin is contraindicated in the following conditions:  

  • allergy to cisplatin or other platinum compounds  
  • reduced function of bone marrow 
  • chronic kidney disease  
  • severe liver disease  
  • dehydration 
  • severe hearing impairment  
  • pregnancy    
  • Breastfeeding. 

Mechanism of action (MOA): Cisplatin selectively inhibits the synthesis of DNA, and thus slows or stops the growth of cancer cells in the body.    

Interactions: a combination of Cisplatin with certain drugs such as Cyclosporine and certain vaccines can cause serious health problems. Therefore, before taking any medication, consult your doctor or pharmacist. 

Side effects:  In addition to cancer cells, cisplatin also damages normal cells, which causes various side effects in most patients. The most common cisplatin side effects include hair loss, fatigue, decreased appetite, weight loss, diarrhea or constipation, nausea and vomiting, changes in taste, and Numbness or tingling in the fingertips and toes.

Cisplatin can cause serious side effects which require immediate medical attention; contact your doctor immediately if you experience any of these symptoms:     

  • high fever 
  • chills 
  • Seizures  
  • shortness of breath 
  • breathing difficulty  
  • unusual bruising or bleeding 
  • dizziness or/and faintness 
  • pain in your side or back 
  • Swelling of your feet or ankles.


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