Cisplatin: Mesothelioma Treatment

Cisplatin is a form of chemotherapy used to treat various types of cancers including mesothelioma. It is in a class of drugs known as platinum-containing compounds that are designed to slow or stop the growth of cancer cells. In its initial form it is a white powder which, when prepared for use, becomes a clear, colorless liquid. It is passed into the body intravenously.

Because Cisplatin affects good cells as well as cancer cells, Patients taking cisplatin generally feel unwell. It's important that patients promptly report side effects to their doctors but it is also important that they continue the treatment regardless of how they feel, unless instructed by their doctor to stop. It is important that patients do not attempt to treat side effects themselves nor use other medicines with out the consultation of their doctor.

Cisplatin may cause a decrease in the number of blood cells in bone marrow. The treating physician should order blood tests before, during, and after treatment to see if the patient's blood cells are affected by this drug.

The following are symptoms which require that a doctor be notified immediately: black tarry stools, blood in urine, difficulty breathing, wheezing or cough, fever or chills, sore throat, hearing loss, increase or decrease in the amount of urine passed, passing urine more often at night, lower back pain, pain or difficulty passing urine, swelling, redness or irritation at the injection site, ringing in the ears, swelling of the face, tingling, pain or numbness in the hands or feet, unusual bleeding or bruising, red spots on your skin, unusual tiredness or weakness, and vomiting.

Patients taking cisplatin are more susceptible to infection and should avoid exposure to people who have colds, the flu and bronchitis. They also should not be vaccinated with any type of vaccine with out first obtaining the doctor's approval. It is vital that they keep all appointments with their doctor and clinic.

Patients should keep well hydrated when they take cisplatin. Most doctors recommend 8 to 12 full glasses of liquid on the day that medicine is taken and for 2 days thereafter. This will reduce the possibility of kidney problems. Cisplatin should not be taken if a patient has had allergic reactions to any product containing platinum. It should also not be taken if a patient has a history of kidney or hearing problems.

In all cases the doctor will need to conduct a thorough review of the patient's medical history. Patients should not attempt to conceive or father a child while taking Cisplatin. Nor should they breast-feed as the medicine may pass into breast milk. The patient should also be made aware that cisplatin has been associated with the development of other types of cancers.

Cisplatin must only be administered by a certified nurse or caregiver. Depending on the type of cancer being treated it may be administered daily or as often as every 4 weeks. Other IV medicine is often given with Cisplatin to keep the patients body from losing too much fluid during the infusion. If a patient misses a dose, the clinic or health caregiver should be notified immediately. A Cistplatin treatment therapy must be closely regulated by the administering caregivers and requires regular visits to the doctor for progress evaluations and blood checks.

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