Ovarian Cancer Home > Cisplatin

Cisplatin is prescribed for the treatment of various types of cancer, including ovarian cancer, testicular cancer, and bladder cancer. This chemotherapy medication is designed to kill cancer cells (and normal cells) by causing abnormal linkages in DNA. The drug comes in injectable form, and is typically administered by a healthcare provider every three or four weeks. Possible side effects include nausea, vomiting, and hearing loss.

What Is Cisplatin?

Cisplatin is a prescription chemotherapy medication. It is approved for treating ovarian cancer, testicular cancer, and bladder cancer.
 
(Click Cisplatin Uses for more information on what the medication is used for, including possible off-label uses.)
 

Who Makes Cisplatin?

Cisplatin was originally made by Bristol-Myers Squibb and was sold under the name Platinol®. However, brand-name Platinol is no longer available, and generic versions are made by various manufacturers.
 

How Does It Work?

Cisplatin is part of a group of medications called platinum analogues. It also belongs to a larger group of chemotherapy drugs known as alkylating agents. Cisplatin kills cells (including cancer cells and normal cells) by causing abnormal linkages in DNA, the genetic material of cells. This is known as cross-linking.
 

When and How to Use Cisplatin

Some general considerations include the following:
 
  • Cisplatin comes in injectable form. Your healthcare provider will administer it via an intravenous infusion (also known as an "IV drip"), typically every three or four weeks for a certain number of treatments. The total length of time the infusion will last depends on several factors, but can be quite long (often a six- to eight-hour period, sometimes longer).
     
  • Let your healthcare provider know immediately if you feel any burning or stinging while receiving the infusion, as this may be a sign that the medication is leaking outside the vein (a situation which can be quite serious).
     
  • It is important that you are well hydrated before each round of this medication. In fact, your healthcare provider will probably recommend that you receive IV fluids ("pretreatment hydration") before each dose. This may help to prevent kidney toxicity. The pretreatment hydration IV is typically given over several hours (8 to 12 hours, sometimes longer).
     
  • Most people receive this medication at their healthcare provider's office, a hospital, or at an "infusion center."
     
  • For the medication to work properly, it must be taken as prescribed. Chemotherapy works best when it is taken "on schedule," although often the side effects that occur limit a person's ability to stay on schedule with the full dose.
     
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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