Carboplatin is a chemotherapy drug used to treat cancer, usually bladder, lung, and ovarian cancers. In my case testicular cancer. As with most chemotherapy drugs, it interferes with the growth of rapidly dividing cells and causes those cells to die. It is administered interveniously and typically 3-4 weeks apart.
Carboplatin interacts with:
- antibiotics such as amphoteracin B amikacin, gentamincin, neomycin, streptomycin, and tobramycin.
- other chemotherapy agents
- acetaminophen (Tylenol)
- ibuprofen (Advil)
- ketoprofen (Orudis KT)
- naproxen sodium (Aleve)
Common (expected, not serious) Side effects:
- loss of appetite
- loss of hair
- metalic taste
- pain at injection site
Common (possibly serious) side effects:
- decreased white blood cell count - increased risk of infection
- decreased platelet count - increased risk of uncontrolled or prolonged bleeding, bruising
- decreased red blood cell count - increased fatigue, lightheadedness, fainting
- signs of infection, especially fever, chills, cough, and sore throat.
- nausea and vomiting
Uncommon (possibly serious) side effects:
- changes in eyesight
- difficulting breathing
- hearing loss
- increase (or decrease) of amount of urine passed
- pain in passing urine
- ringing in ears
- rash or itching
- tingling in fingers and/or toes
During the first couple of days your body will react very strongly to the introduction of what is basically poison. Anti-nausea drugs such as anzemet and dexamethasone are typically prescribed (sometimes trimethobenzamide) for the first couple of days. During this time your kidneys work overtime trying to rid your bloodstream of the stuff so you will need to urinate more often and drink lots of liquids to keep up and avoid getting dehydrated.
Over the next week, the carboplatin will be busy killing off cells that divide rapidly, these include cancer cells (yeah!) red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. As a result, about 2 weeks after taking the injection, your ability to fight disease will be at an all time low, you will feel very tired, and will bruise/bleed very easily.
Over the second week, your body will start to recover white and red blood cells and platelets increasing your ability to fight infection and stop bleeding just in time to start another round of treatments at the beginning of the third (or fourth) week.