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Brand names:

Platinol®, Platinol-AQ®

Other names:


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About cisplatin

Cisplatin is a type of chemotherapy, known as a platinum analog. It works by slowing or stopping the growth of cells. Cisplatin is usually used in combination with other medicines.

Patients will have regular blood tests to check blood counts and monitor kidney and liver function. Doctors will also monitor how much the patient is drinking and urinating as well as blood levels of magnesium, potassium, calcium, sodium, and phosphorus.

Cisplatin may cause long-term hearing problems (which can be worse in patients who receive radiation to the brain and in younger children). The hearing loss may be severe and permanent, requiring the use of hearing aids. The doctor will likely order hearing tests before, during, and after treatment.

Cisplatin can cause tissue damage if it leaks from the vein. Patients may have irritation and skin damage at the IV site. Let a caregiver know if there is burning during administration.

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Given as a liquid into a vein by IV

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Possible side effects

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Low blood counts, usually after 14–21 days (may cause increased risk of infection, bleeding, anemia, and/or fatigue)
  • Loss of appetite
  • Diarrhea
  • Hair loss
  • Loss in ability to taste food or changes in the way food tastes
  • Dehydration
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Hearing loss
  • Skin irritation at the IV site
  • Kidney problems
  • Numbness or tingling of the hands or feet
  • Low levels of magnesium, potassium, calcium, sodium, or phosphorus in the blood
  • Change in the normal menstrual cycle
  • Infertility

Not all patients who take cisplatin will experience these side effects. Please report all suspected side effects to your doctor or pharmacist.

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Possible late effects

Some patients may experience long-term or late effects of treatment that may continue or develop months or years after treatment ends. Possible late effects due to cisplatin include:

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Tips for families

Be sure to discuss these and other recommendations with your doctor or pharmacist.

  • A doctor will prescribe medicines to help reduce nausea and vomiting. These medicines will be given during treatment and for several days afterwards.
  • Patients may receive IV fluids before and after receiving cisplatin. Let a doctor know if the patient urinates less often than normal after receiving cisplatin.
  • The doctor may prescribe magnesium, potassium, calcium, or phosphorus to take by mouth or supplements may be added to the patient’s IV fluid.
  • Cisplatin can cause severe hearing loss. Patients should have ongoing monitoring and watch for signs of hearing loss.
  • Sexually active patients should take steps to prevent pregnancy during treatment and for 6 months after completion of therapy.
  • Patients should tell their doctor if they are pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • Families should tell the care provider if the patient has hearing problems, or poor kidney function.
  • Caregivers should follow instructions to avoid contact with patient body fluids, which can contain the drug for 48 hours after it is given.