Cisplatin Warnings and Precautions

Before receiving an infusion of cisplatin, make sure your healthcare provider is aware of any other medical conditions you may have, such as any infection, a hearing impairment, or any bleeding. Also, this medicine can cause drug interactions, so tell your healthcare provider about any other medicines you are taking. Precautions and warnings with cisplatin also extend to women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider?

You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking cisplatin if you have:
  • Any infection
  • A hearing impairment
  • Kidney disease, such as kidney failure (renal failure)
  • Any bleeding
  • Any allergies, including allergies 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 medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Specific Precautions and Warnings With Cisplatin

Some warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to starting treatment include the following:
  • Cisplatin can cause cumulative kidney damage and hearing loss or other hearing problems. This means that the more of this drug you use (over your lifetime), the greater your risk for kidney damage and hearing loss. For this reason, your kidney function and hearing should be tested before starting cisplatin and before each dose.
  • Cisplatin can decrease the bone marrow's ability to produce blood cells. This can result in anemia and other serious conditions. Because your immune system depends on certain blood cells, you may be more susceptible to infections while taking cisplatin (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 at its worst about three weeks after a dose.
  • Cisplatin can cause nerve damage, usually manifested as unusual, unpleasant sensations in the hands and feet. Other nerve problems may occur, such as loss of sensation or reflexes.
  • As with other platinum drugs, cisplatin can cause serious allergic reactions. Such reactions usually occur within minutes of starting the drug.
  • Cisplatin almost always causes nausea and vomiting. Your healthcare provider should consider giving you medications before and after your cisplatin dose, in order to prevent and treat nausea and vomiting (see Chemotherapy and Nausea).
  • Cisplatin can interact with other medications (see Cisplatin Drug Interactions).
  • Cisplatin 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 taking the drug during pregnancy (see Cisplatin and Pregnancy).
  • Cisplatin passes through breast milk in humans. It is usually recommended that women avoid breastfeeding while receiving cisplatin treatment (see Cisplatin and Breastfeeding).
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Cisplatin Chemotherapy Drug Information

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