Cisplatin

Cisplatin is a chemotherapy drug that is commonly used to treat cancers such as testicular cancer, ovarian cancer, bladder cancer and mesothelioma. The drug works by killing the cancer cells through its alkaline properties and is given to the patient through an intravenous line.

Administering the Drug

Cisplatin is used for treating cancer over a period of time. The IV procedure to administer the drug typically takes place over a span of sixty minutes or longer to ensure the proper dilution of the drug into the body. The health and overall treatment plan for the patient typically dictates the amount of time and the dosage of the drug needed for results. Cisplatin is often administered with other fluids through the IV to help protect and flush the kidneys since the drug can impair kidney function. To prepare for treatment with Cisplatin, the patient will also need to consume several quarts of plain water to ensure the body can process the drug while minimizing damage. Medications to reduce side effects of Cisplatin are also administered through the IV at the time of the treatment.

Side Effects

Though a strong treatment method, Cisplatin has many side effects. The drug, for example, can damage skin and tissue outside the vein because of its alkaline properties. The drug can also cause nausea, vomiting, exhaustion and numbness of the extremities. Less common side effects are also present for some, and include reduced hearing function and impaired balance. In general, Cisplatin is not a treatment option for pregnant women or those with impaired kidney function. The restrictions for those using Cisplatin will vary, but in general it is advised that a sanitary, germ free space be prepared for patients receiving this drug since it can impair the immune system significantly. Vaccines and some other medical treatments may not be administered during treatment, as well. The drug has also been linked to other types of cancers, such as leukemia, which occurs many years after the Cisplatin treatment has been completed. Some patients may experience a rare allergy to Cisplatin, but most tolerate the drug reasonably well. The side effects that can be fatal or life threatening include impaired kidney function, lowered immunity and increased risk of infection, and heart disease. The span of the treatment will vary based on the patient and their treatment plan. Reference: Cisplatin.org