Patient Education Quick Reference Guide Diablo Valley Oncology/Hematology Medical Group Phone Number: 925-677-5041WARNING Allergic reactions: Carboplatin may cause allergic reactions during administration. These allergic reactions can cause rash, hives, itching, redness, cough, wheezing, chest tightness, or a decrease in blood pressure. Your doctor or healthcare provider will watch you carefully during and after the administration of carboplatin to make sure that you do not experience any allergic reactions. If an allergic reaction occurs it is treatable with medications. Blood related problems: Carboplatin may cause serious decreases in your red blood cell, white blood cell and platelet levels which can cause infections, anemia, bruising and bleeding (see Precautions To Be Aware Of Before Taking This Medication). Gastrointestinal related problems: Like many other chemotherapy medications, carboplatin can cause nausea and/or vomiting (see Precautions To Be Aware Of Before Taking This Medication). Uses For This Medication
- Carboplatin is used alone or in combination with other chemotherapy medications to treat adults with many different types of cancer including ovarian cancer, bladder cancer, cervical cancer, head and neck cancers, esophageal cancer, lung cancer, certain types of brain tumors, breast cancer, retinoblastoma, endometrial cancer, fallopian tube cancer, peritoneal cancer, carcinoma of unknown primary, melanoma, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
- This medication may also be given for other conditions as determined by your doctor.
- Are allergic to carboplatin or any other platinum-containing medication such as oxaliplatin (Eloxatin ® ) or cisplatin (Platinol ® )
- Have very low red blood cell, white blood cell, or platelet levels or if you have experienced bleeding problems. Your doctor or healthcare provider will check your blood before starting carboplatin to make sure that it is safe to start this medication.
Blood related precautions
- This medication may temporarily reduce the number of platelets in your blood. This can increase your risk of bleeding. Contact your doctor or healthcare provider if you notice unusual bleeding or bruising, have black or tar-like stools, see blood in your urine, or develop pinpoint red spots on your skin. If your platelet levels become too low, your doctor or healthcare provider may recommend that your treatment be delayed, that you receive a platelet transfusion, and/or that you take medication to help increase the number of platelets in your blood. To lower your chance of bleeding, do not use aspirin, aspirin-containing medications, or aspirin-like medications (for example ibuprofen, naproxen). Use caution with sharp objects like razors and nail cutters, and avoid activities that can cause cuts, bumps and bruises.
- This medication may temporarily reduce the number of germ fighting white blood cells in your blood. This can increase your risk of infection. Contact your doctor or healthcare provider promptly if you develop any signs of an infection such as fever, painful urination, chills or a sore throat that doesn’t go away. If your white blood cell levels become too low, your doctor or healthcare provider may recommend that your treatment be delayed and/or you receive medication to increase the number of white cells in your blood. To lower your risk of infection, stay away from crowds and people with colds or other illnesses, wash your hands with soap and water well and often, and brush and floss your teeth daily.
- This medication may temporarily lower the number of red cells in your blood. This can increase your risk of anemia. If your red blood cell level becomes low, you may feel tired and weak. If your red blood cell level becomes too low, your doctor or healthcare provider may recommend that your treatment be delayed, that you receive a red blood cell transfusion, and/or you receive a medication to help increase the red cells in your blood.
Gastrointestinal related precautions
- This medication may cause two types of nausea and/or vomiting, acute and delayed. Acute nausea and/or vomiting occurs within the first 24 hours following chemotherapy treatment. Delayed nausea and/or vomiting usually starts 24 hours after treatment and can last for up to 3 to 7 days. Eat small frequent meals and bland foods (for example bananas, rice, apples, toast). If you are having moderate or severe vomiting, tell your doctor or healthcare provider. Nausea and vomiting can be treated with medications.
- Rarely, when carboplatin is given together with another chemotherapy agent, paclitaxel, it can cause colitis, which is a swelling of the colon. Colitis can lead to bowel infection, bleeding from the rectum, or bowel obstruction. Contact your doctor or healthcare provider if you experience diarrhea, dark, tarry or blood stools, fever, stomach pain, loss of appetite, bloating, or any signs of infection.
- This medication can cause changes in the ability of your liver and/or kidneys to work normally. Your doctor or healthcare provider will check your liver and kidneys regularly, usually through blood tests, while you are on this medication to make sure that they are both working properly. If you have any liver or kidney problems before starting this medication, make sure that you tell your doctor or healthcare provider so that he or she can watch you carefully for possible problems or side effects.
- This medication can cause temporary vision problems, which are reversible once carboplatin is stopped.
- This medication can cause damage to the ear, which can result in hearing or balance problems. Let your doctor or healthcare provider know if you experience any ringing in the ears or loss of hearing.
Patient specific precautions
- Safety and effectiveness in children has not been established, but is routinely used to treat pediatric cancers.
- Older patients (more than 65 years of age) receiving carboplatin as well as patients who have already received another chemotherapy medication called cisplatin (Platinol ® ) may be more likely to experience nerve problems in the hands and feet. Symptoms can include numbness, pain or a burning feeling in the feet or hands. Contact your doctor or healthcare provider if you experience any of these symptoms.
- Older patients (more than 65 years of age) receiving carboplatin may be more likely to experience low platelet levels than younger patients.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding precautions
- This medication may cause fetal harm. When taking this medication, you should use effective birth control to prevent pregnancy. Tell your doctor or healthcare provider right away if you or your spouse/partner becomes pregnant.
- It is not known whether this medication is found or excreted in breast milk. Since many medications are excreted in breast milk and because this medication can cause serious harmful reactions in infants, breastfeeding should be avoided.
- Many anti-cancer therapies can cause sterility. Notify your doctor or healthcare provider if you want to have children in the future.
- Medications that can cause kidney problems
- All medications can cause side effects. However, not all patients will experience these side effects. In addition, other side effects not listed can also occur in some patients. You should call your doctor or healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns while you are on this medication.
- You should contact your doctor or healthcare provider if you experience any side effect(s) which don’t go away, worsen, are serious in nature, or are worrisome to you.
- Side effects can occur when carboplatin is given alone or together with other chemotherapy medications. The side effects listed below are those reported in patients who were treated with carboplatin alone.
- Decreased platelet, red blood cell, and/or white blood cell levels (see Precautions To Be Aware Of Before Taking This Medication)
- Acute and delayed nausea and vomiting (see Warning and Precautions To Be Aware Of Before Taking This Medication)
- Taste changes including metallic taste of food
- Hair loss
Less common side effects
- Loss of strength
- Stomach pain, diarrhea, constipation
- Sensation of pins and needles in hands and/or feet from nerve irritation
- Changes in kidney function (see Precautions To Be Aware Of Before Taking This Medication)
- Decreased levels of sodium and magnesium
Rare side effectsThis is not a complete list of the rare side effects reported with carboplatin. For a complete list, please talk with your doctor or healthcare provider about reviewing a copy of the package insert.
- Feeling of general discomfort
- Loss of appetite, taste changes
- Allergic reactions (see Warning)
- Changes in liver function (see Precautions To Be Aware Of Before Taking This Medication)
- Visual changes (see Precautions To Be Aware Of Before Taking This Medication)
- Ringing in ears (see Precautions To Be Aware Of Before Taking This Medication)
- Injection site reactions including redness, swelling and pain
- Increased blood pressure
- Colitis (swelling of the colon) when carboplatin is given together with paclitaxel (see Precautions To Be Aware Of Before Taking This Medication)
- Decreased levels of potassium and calcium
- This medication is usually given by injection into a vein (IV) by a healthcare professional. This medication can be given in different doses depending on your weight, your type of condition and whether carboplatin is being given with other chemotherapy medications.
- Antiemetics, which are medications to help prevent and control nausea and vomiting, may be given before carboplatin either by mouth (orally) or by injection into a vein (IV). Following treatment, your doctor or healthcare provider may prescribe additional antiemetics which you may need to take for several days after treatment to prevent and control nausea and/or vomiting.
- In the unlikely event of an overdose of this medication contact your doctor, your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222, or emergency services immediately.
- It is unlikely that you will need to store this medication. However, in the event that you do, the unopened containers should be stored at controlled room temperature. Keep in original package to protect from light.
- Keep this medication out of the reach of children or pets.
- Ask your doctor or healthcare provider how to dispose of any medication that you no longer use.