Carboplatin is a prescription used for the treatment of ovarian cancer and small cell lung cancer. This is often used in combination with other chemotherapy medicines.  

Ovarian cancer occurs when abnormal cells in the ovary start or multiply out of control and form a tumor. If left untreated, the tumor can spread to other parts of the body. Ovarian cancer often has warning signs, but the earliest symptoms are vague and easy to dismiss. The early symptoms of this condition may include:

  • Abnormal fullness after eating
  • Abdominal pressure, bloating, and pain
  • An increase in urination
  • Difficulty eating
  • An increased urge to urinate

Ovarian cancer can also cause other symptoms such as:

  • Indigestion
  • Fatigue
  • Constipation
  • Heartburn
  • Menstrual irregularities
  • Back pain
  • Painful intercourse

Small cell lung cancer (SCLC) starts when the cells of the lungs become abnormal. It is when the cells grow out of control. This is a fast-growing type of lung cancer. It spreads much faster than non-small cell lung cancer. Here are some of the signs and symptoms of SCLC:

  • Coughing up blood or rust-colored sputum
  • A cough that does not go away or gets worse
  • Hoarseness
  • Chest pain that is often worse with deep breathing, laughing, or coughing
  • Loss of appetite or weight loss
  • Feeling tired or weak
  • Shortness of breath
  • New onset of wheezing

Carboplatin is a platinum-based chemotherapy medicine. This helps to stop or slow the growth of the cancer cells. It is by interfering with the development of the genetic material in a cell which is the DNA. This stops it from dividing into two new cells and kills it. Carboplatin is supplied as a sterile and pyrogen-free aqueous solution. This contains 10mg/mL of Carboplatin as an active ingredient. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has already approved this medication.

How does Carboplatin work?

Cancers form when some cells within the body multiply uncontrollably and abnormally. These cells spread and destroy nearby tissues.

Carboplatin works by stopping the cancer cells from multiplying. It is by binding together the strands of the genetic material of the cell which is the DNA. DNA is necessary for the growth and multiplication of cells. This drug damages the DNA inside the cancer cells. Therefore, this prevents them from multiplying or growing.

Unfortunately, this drug may also affect healthy and normal cells particularly those that multiply quickly. In most chemotherapy regimens, doses are administered in courses at various intervals. It is to allow normal cells to recover from the adverse effects of the anticancer medicines between doses. However, throughout this period, cancer cells will also recover and start to replicate again.

How to use Carboplatin?

Carboplatin is usually given by infusion into a vein or intravenously – IV. It is over at least 15 to 60 minutes. The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to the treatment. In general, courses of Carboplatin treatment should not be given more often than once every 4 weeks. You should take this medication exactly as it is prescribed. Do not take more or less or more often than it is given by your doctor.

Before injecting each dose, clean the injection site with rubbing alcohol. Before also using, check the drug visually for discoloration or particles. Do not use the liquid if either is present. To get the most benefit from it, use the medication regularly. Remember to use the prescription at the same time and in the same way each day. Let your doctor know if your condition gets worse or if it does not improve. If you missed a dose, take it as soon as you remember it. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to make up for the missed dose.

Successful treatment depends on the administration of the next course of therapy. It is before cancer has regrown to its previous size and the net effect is to lessen the amount of cancer with each successive course.  

What are the side effects of Carboplatin?

Common side effects:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting and nausea (may be severe)
  • Feeling tired
  • Stomach pain
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Weakness
  • Temporary hair loss
  • Body aches or pains
  • Injection site reactions (swelling, redness, and pain)

Call your doctor at once if you have these:

  • Easy bruising or unusual bleeding (mouth, vagina, nose, or rectum)
  • Pale skin
  • Feeling light-headed or short of breath
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Chills, fever, body aches, sores in your mouth, or flu symptoms
  • Dark urine, stomach pain, or clay-colored stools
  • Jaundice or yellowing of the skin or eyes
  • Severe or ongoing vomiting
  • Vision or hearing problems
  • Low magnesium (muscle weakness or limp feeling, confusion, or jerking muscle movements)

Get emergency medical help if you any signs of an allergic reaction:

  • Hives or itching
  • Trouble breathing
  • Swelling of your lips, throat, face, or tongue

Warnings and Precautions

  • While you are receiving treatment with this medicine, your doctor will monitor your kidney function.
  • This drug may affect the nerves. This can cause feelings of tingling or numbness, especially in the feet, hands, throat, or neck.
  • Let your doctor know if you have any problems with your hearing or sensation of ringing in your ears while having this treatment.
  • Before starting this medication, it is important to discuss fertility with your doctor. Your ability to become pregnant or father a child may be affected by treatment with this drug.
  • Carboplatin should be used with caution in people with mild to moderately decreased kidney or liver function.
  • This should not be used by breastfeeding women.
  •  Tell your doctor if you have ever had a medical history of mineral imbalance or kidney problems.
  • This should not also be used if you have certain medical conditions. Before using, consult your doctor first if you have decreased bone marrow or blood cell disorders.
  • Do not have vaccinations or immunizations without the consent of your doctor.
  • You should not share this with others even if they have the same symptoms as yours.
  • Keep this drug at room temperature and away from the reach of children.