Carboplatin Warnings and Precautions

Prior to taking carboplatin, make sure your healthcare provider is aware of any other medical conditions you have, such as kidney disease, any kind of infection, and any bleeding. Also, this chemotherapy medicine can cause drug interactions, so tell your healthcare provider about any other medicines you are taking. Other precautions and warnings with carboplatin apply to women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider?

Prior to receiving an infusion of carboplatin, tell your healthcare provider if you have:
 
  • Any kind of infection
  • Liver disease, including liver failure or cirrhosis
  • Kidney disease, such as kidney failure (renal failure)
  • Any bleeding
  • Any allergies, including to foods, dyes, or preservatives.
     
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
 
  • Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
  • Breastfeeding.
     
Make sure to tell your healthcare provider about any other medicines you are taking, including prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
 

Specific Precautions and Warnings With Carboplatin

Some warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to receiving carboplatin include the following:
 
  • This medication can decrease the bone marrow's ability to produce blood cells, which can result in anemia and other serious conditions. Because your immune system depends on certain blood cells, you may be more susceptible to infections during treatment with carboplatin (see Chemotherapy and Infections)
You may also be at a higher risk for bleeding (see Blood Clotting Problems and Chemotherapy). You will need regular blood tests to make sure your blood counts are not too low. This "bone marrow suppression" is usually the dose-limiting toxicity of carboplatin and, generally, is at its worst about three weeks after a dose.
  • Carboplatin can cause kidney damage and hearing loss, especially when used at very high doses and/or in combination with other drugs that cause similar problems.
     
  • Loss of vision has been reported with high-dose carboplatin. However, this side effect appears to go away after the high doses are discontinued.
     
  • Just like other platinum drugs, carboplatin can cause serious allergic reactions. Such reactions usually occur within minutes of starting the infusion.
     
  • Extremely high doses of carboplatin have been reported to cause severe abnormalities in liver function tests (routine blood tests that check liver function).
     
  • If you have kidney disease, you may need a reduced carboplatin dosage.
     
  • Carboplatin often causes nausea and vomiting. Your healthcare provider should consider giving you medications before and after your infusion in order to prevent and treat nausea and vomiting (see Chemotherapy and Nausea).
     
  • Carboplatin can interact with other medications (see Carboplatin Drug Interactions).
     
  • Carboplatin is considered a pregnancy Category D medication. This means that it is probably not safe for use during pregnancy. Talk to your healthcare provider about the risks and benefits of using it when pregnant (see Carboplatin and Pregnancy).
 
  • It is unknown if this medication passes though breast milk in humans. Therefore, please check with your healthcare provider before receiving it while breastfeeding (see Carboplatin and Breastfeeding).
       
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