Carboplatin: Mesothelioma Treatment
Carboplatin (Paraplatin) is a chemotherapy that is most often administered to patients who suffer from either cancer of the ovaries, head and neck or mesothelioma. It is in a class of drugs known as platinum-containing compounds and is designed to slow or stop the growth of cancer cells. It appears as a colorless fluid and is administered by infusion into the vein through a fine tube (called a cannula). It may also be inserted through a vein near the collarbone.
Each person's reaction to chemotherapy is unique. Some people have very few side effects, while others may develop severe side effects. Patients receiving carboplatin may suffer from temporary reduction in bone marrow function, nausea and vomiting, and/or loss of appetite. Less commonly, they may experience numbness or tingling in hands or feet, changes in hearing (tinnitus), diarrhea, mouth sores and ulcers, and/or hair loss. Patients should avoid taking other medicines while undergoing chemotherapy, unless they are granted their doctor's approval to do so. Patients should not receive Carboplatin if they have had an allergic reaction to carboplatin, mannitol, cisplatin or to anything containing platinum.
It is important that patients promptly report side effects but it is also important that they continue the treatment regardless of how they feel unless instructed by their doctor to stop. It is also important that patients do not attempt to treat side effects themselves. It should be clearly understood by the patient, that his or her ability to conceive or father a child may be affected by taking Carboplatin. Therefore, patients should discuss fertility with there doctor before starting treatment. It is not advisable to become pregnant while taking carboplatin since it is possible that treatment could be harmful to a developing fetus.
It must only be administered by a certified nurse or caregiver and on a strict, regular schedule determined by the treating physician. If a patient misses a dose the doctor, caregiver or clinic where treatments are administered should be contacted immediately. An open line of communication with care givers (particularly when problems arise) and regular visits to his or her office for progress evaluations are an important part of the regimen.
If treatments are given at home, the IV liquid must be used within the first 8 hours. When it is not being used, it should be stored at room temperature, protected from the light and under no circumstances refrigerated. IV liquid that has expired should be discarded. The doctor should provide a special kit to hold the needles and supplies that children and pets are unable to open. Patient's should avoid getting the medicine in their eyes, nose, mouth, or skin.
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