Cisplatin is an
intravenous (IV) medicine usually given in a dose
that is based on body surface area. The type and extent of a cancer determines
the exact dose and schedule of administering this drug.
How It Works
Cisplatin is a heavy metal that kills cells by interfering with the
multiplication of cancer cells. It affects all phases of the cell cycle. It is
used specifically in the treatment of cancer.
Why It Is Used
Cisplatin slows or stops the growth and spread of cancer cells in
the body. It may be used to treat advanced bladder cancer or metastatic cancers such as testicular or ovarian cancer.
How Well It Works
Cisplatin is an effective antitumor medicine. It is one of the
main drugs used for many types of cancer and is often combined with other cancer drugs. The type and extent of a cancer
determines how effectively this medicine slows or stops the growth of cancer
cells in the body.
Side effects are common with cisplatin. Most side effects of
chemotherapy, including hair loss, go away after you finish treatment. Side
effects can include:
- Decreased white blood counts and possibly
reduced red blood cell and platelet counts.
- Nausea, vomiting, and
loss of appetite.
- Headache or seizures.
- Diarrhea or constipation.
- Mouth sores
Peripheral neuropathies, which may be
irreversible and may be made worse by exercise. Symptoms include:
- Numbness and
- Unsteadiness when standing or
- Clumsiness of the hands and feet.
- Ear problems (ototoxicity), which may not get
better. Symptoms include:
- Ringing in the ears
- Hearing loss, especially high tones, or
- Eye problems, such as blurred vision or loss of
the ability to see colors.
- Kidney damage, which may or may not get
better. Keeping plenty of fluids in the body during treatment may be
See Drug Reference for a full list of side effects. (Drug Reference
is not available in all systems.)
What To Think About
Cisplatin is administered only under the supervision of a
Cisplatin can affect your ability to have children. You may not be
able to get pregnant or father a child after taking this medicine. Discuss
fertility with your doctor before starting treatment.
Cisplatin can cause birth defects. Do not use this medicine if
you are pregnant or wish to become pregnant or father a child while you are
Your doctor can prescribe
medicines to help you manage any nausea or vomiting
caused by chemotherapy.
Do not use this medicine if you have:
- Had a previous allergic reaction to cisplatin
or other medicines that contain platinum.
- Hearing loss.
- A history of
Complete the new medication information form (PDF)(What is a PDF document?) to help you understand this medication.
Primary Medical Reviewer
||E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer
||Christopher G. Wood, MD, FACS - Urology, Oncology
||April 30, 2013