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Although rare, the potential for severe reactions to carboplatin is real. Allergic reactions may occur within minutes of infusion. They may include hives, rash, itching, difficulty breathing, or swallowing. Other potential side effects include numbness or burning in the hands and feet, hair loss, and nausea and diarrhea. A doctor should monitor any of these reactions and recommend alternative treatment. Carboplatin is also known to cause vomiting and diarrhea, which is why patients should consult with a doctor if they experience them.
As an alkylating agent, carboplatin can damage DNA and RNA, which allows cancer cells to multiply. By slowing down the process, the cancer cells in a patient's body will begin to shrink. Because mesothelioma cells override their natural death cycle, carboplatin slows down their reproduction. Carboplatin also has some side effects, including a high risk of bleeding and infection.
When undergoing treatment with carboplatin, the doctor will administer the drug through a central line, which is a large vein. This line will be inserted in the chest or arm and remain in place for several months. The chemotherapy drugs are given in cycles. One cycle of carboplatin will last about three to four weeks. A total of four or six cycles may be necessary. The frequency of the treatment will depend on the type of cancer the patient has and the treatment plan.
If you have an abnormal liver function test during treatment with carboplatin, your doctor will reduce the dosage or even discontinue the medication altogether. If your liver is affected by carboplatin, you should call your doctor right away. Your healthcare team will provide you with advice on how to handle the side effects of carboplatin, including what to eat and drink. You may also be given mouthwash to relieve soreness and avoid developing mouth ulcers.
Patients should be aware that carboplatin is not the only treatment for breast cancer. It can also be used in conjunction with other chemotherapy drugs. It is sometimes offered as a clinical trial. Triple negative breast cancer, which is a type of breast cancer caused by a defective BRCA gene, may benefit from this drug. A hospital will arrange an information session where the nurse will explain the side effects and provide an outline of treatment options.
Patients are usually administered carboplatin intravenously or through a vein in the peritoneum. This chemotherapy drug is given in a single dose or in several doses every 21 days. The dosage is based on the size of the patient, their age, and any pre-existing conditions. Patients typically receive carboplatin every 21 days. However, in some cases, the dose can be increased or decreased. When a patient's tumor is advanced enough, carboplatin can be used in combination with other drugs.
Side effects of carboplatin depend on the dose. Higher doses are associated with more severe side effects. In severe cases, patients may experience low blood counts, called the Nadir, between chemotherapy cycles. A severe side effect is peripheral neuropathy, which results in decreased sensation, numbness, and difficulty walking. Although these side effects may go away with treatment, doctors may decide to decrease the dosage if they notice these side effects are a problem.
Because carboplatin does not distinguish between healthy and cancerous cells, it is not recommended for people who have severe allergic reactions to platinum or mannitol. Women should not breastfeed while receiving carboplatin. They should drink at least two quarts of fluids a day. To minimize these side effects, patients should stay away from crowds and people with colds. In case of fever or rash, women should contact a doctor as soon as possible.
Carboplatin is a powerful chemotherapy drug and has moderate interactions with over 50 other drugs. It is essential that women who wish to have a child during treatment tell their doctor if they are currently taking any of these medicines. Because of the high risk for birth defects, it is important to avoid becoming pregnant and breastfeeding during this treatment. Also, women should take birth control to avoid falling pregnant or having an unplanned pregnancy. The risk of miscarriage is increased.
Because of its potential side effects, carboplatin should only be used by experienced cancer drug professionals. The drug is administered through an intravenous (IV) infusion. The dosage of carboplatin is calculated based on the patient's height, weight, and kidney function. It can be given alone or in combination with other drugs. The treatment is usually repeated every four weeks. If you experience any adverse effects, contact a doctor immediately.