Cisplatin – Uses, Side Effects and Precautions



Cisplatin is a chemotherapy drug that is used to treat advanced-stage cancers. It is used to treat many types of cancers, whereas other treatments did not provide satisfactory results. Majorly it is used to treat testicular, ovarian, bladder, head and neck, lung, and cervical cancer. 

It is often used in combination with other drugs to treat a certain type of cancer. It is even used in combination with other methods of treatment of cancer such as radiation therapy and surgery. 

It stops the growth of cancer cells which can be destroyed by the patient’s body itself. Certain blood tests will be taken before and during the treatment to check the functioning of the body. The functioning of the liver and kidney is also tested.  

There are several common side effects of cisplatin, but these effects can be managed using several medicines that are prescribed by the doctor. If the side effects get worse, the doctor might want to change the dose or drug for treatment.  

Take the medication according to the dose and number of sessions prescribed to you for better treatment. Do not discontinue the treatment without the doctor’s suggestions. 


What cancer does cisplatin use for? 

Cisplatin is used to treat several types of cancer. It stops the growth of cancer cells in advanced stages to control the growth of cancerous cells. Some of the cancers that can be treated using cisplatin include: 

Apart from these, a doctor can use cisplatin to treat other cancers as well if they feel the need for it.  


How is it given? 

Cisplatin comes in the form of a solution that can be injected into the veins of the patients. It takes around 6 to 8 hours to inject the medication. It is given under the supervision of trained medical staff. It is given at an interval of 3 to 4 weeks.  

Often cisplatin comes in the form of solution or powder which can be converted into solution. It is given intravenously. The dose of the drug may vary depending on the type of cancer which is being treated and the stage of cancer. The dosage of the drug that must be given to the patient will be determined by the doctor.  

It is given as a chemotherapy course which includes many sessions and a longer period of treatment. The number of sessions will be determined by the doctor according to the severity of the cancer in a patient. 

While taking chemotherapy, many patients implant a central line, cannula, or PICC line to avoid puncturing the skin at every chemotherapy session. These tubes are inserted into a larger vein in the body. It helps to add drip into the tube at each session. The tubes are removed from the body of the patients after the completion of the chemotherapy treatment of cancer. 


What are the common side effects of cisplatin? 

There are several common side effects of cisplatin which are listed below. These side effects are mostly observed in many patients who take cisplatin as chemotherapy treatment. It is common to experience these side effects but if they get worse then you should immediately contact your doctor. Side effects of cisplatin are: 

  • Nausea 
  • Vomiting 
  • Diarrhea 
  • Hair loss 
  • Loss tasting ability 
  • Hiccups  
  • Dryness of  mouth
  • Darker urine
  • Dryness of skin
  • Dehydration
  • Bleeding and bruising 
  • Anemia 
  • Loss of appetite 
  • Feeling tired 

Apart from these side effects, there are other rare side effects also of cisplatin which can also affect many patients. If you experience any other side effects, immediately consult a doctor.  


What are the major precautions to take care of? 

While taking chemotherapy, it is advised the doctors take certain steps to avoid any major complications and health problems. Patients must take care of certain things while taking cisplatin. Some of these precautions are listed below: 

  1. If you have a renal illness or hearing loss, notify your doctor. The doctor might want to avoid giving you cisplatin as it can cause complications. It depends upon the condition a patient is suffering from. 
  2. Read the list of ingredients in cisplatin solution and if you are allergic to cisplatin, carboplatin (Paraplatin), any other drugs, or any of the chemicals in cisplatin injection, notify your doctor. This can help avoid many side effects and allergic reaction problems. 
  3. Inform your doctor about any other prescription and nonprescription drugs, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal items you are now taking. The doctor may change the dosage of your drugs. Many other drugs may interact with cisplatin, so be careful to inform your doctor about all medications you are taking. 
  4. Inform your doctor if you are pregnant, want to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding. While undergoing cisplatin, you should not become pregnant or breast-feed. Call your doctor if you become pregnant while taking cisplatin. Cisplatin may be harmful to the fetus. 

Apart from these, the doctor will tell you about any major precautions that you must take while taking cisplatin. Ask any query that you might have to your doctor before taking any substance. 

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