Carboplatin is a chemotherapy drug that has been in use since the 1980s. Often used in the treatment of both lung and ovarian cancer, carboplatin is sometimes recommended for the treatment of malignant pleural mesothelioma.
Carboplatin (paraplatin) is from a family of drugs known as DNA alkalizing agents. It is often used in conjunction with another chemotherapy drug, gemcitabine. It’s parent compound is the more popular cisplatin, which is often used with Alimta to treat mesothelioma.
Carboplatin, however, carries far fewer side effects that cisplatin. Experts explain that this is because of the drug’s added stability, which allows it to remain in the bloodstream longer. However, it is not as effective as cisplatin and requires larger doses for equal effectiveness.
Treatment with Carboplatin
Carboplatin is a clear liquid that is injected into the vein. Treatment with this drug usually takes anywhere from 15 to 60 minutes, depending on the dosage prescribed. The drug may also be infused over a 24-hour period or, in extreme cases, can be injected directly into the affected area, such as the peritoneum. You will most likely be given an anti-nausea medication before receiving carboplatin.
If you are receiving another chemotherapy drug for the treatment of your diagnosis, it will probably be infused or injected after the carboplatin.
Side Effects of Carboplatin
Like any chemotherapy drug, carboplatin carries the potential of a number of different side effects. These days, most of the side effects are manageable and some will disappear shortly after the completion of the therapy– sometimes within hours.
Side effects of the platinum drug carboplatin include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Bruising or bleeding
- Lowered resistance to infection
- Loss of appetite
- Numbness in hands or feet
- Hair loss (common at high doses but not normal doses)
- Taste changes
- Mouth sores
Report any side effects to your doctor or medical team and always consult your oncologist before taking any other medications while you’re undergoing mesothelioma treatment with carboplatin or any chemotherapy drug.
Manufactured by Bristol Myers Squibb.