Cisplatin is a key drug in the treatment of lung tumors, both non-small cell and small cell types.
Generally it is given in association with another drug, such as vinorelbine, gemcitabine, pemetrexed, taxotere/docetaxel or etoposide.
Sometimes, patients who are not in an optimal clinical condition to receive a doublet therapy, small doses of cisplatin can be given every week. The route of administration is intravenous.
Potential side effects of Cisplatin
Very common side effects (seen in more than 1 in 10 patients)
- Renal toxicity, which may increase with repeated administrations.
- Changes in serum electrolytes (alterations in blood laboratory test values) that may require replacement therapy.
- Nausea, vomiting and anorexia, which could be serious.
- Peripheral sensory neuropathy (numbness or tingling in the arms and/or legs). This disorder could be irreversible.
- Ototoxicity (decreased hearing ability), which could be irreversible. Vestibular toxicity (balance disorders).
- Reduced ability of the bone marrow to produce blood cells, which can increase the risk of infections, decrease the ability of blood to clot or cause anemia.
When cisplatin is combined with other chemotherapy drugs, these side effects could be potentially serious, endanger your life or require blood cell transfusions due to anemia, bleeding, or infections and/or drug administration to stimulate bone marrow reformation.
Less frequent side effects
- Loss of taste.
- Muscle cramps.
- Transient increase in liver and pancreatic function tests.
- Mucositis (inflammation of the mouth or lining of the gastrointestinal tract).
- Bronchospasm (wheezing) and hypotension (lowering of blood pressure).
- Bradycardia (slow heart rate), tachycardia (rapid heart rate) or other arrhythmias (irregular heartbeat).
- Allergic reactions, typically rash, hives, erythema (redness) or itching.
- Optical neuritis (inflammation of the optic nerve), papilledema (swelling of the retina) and blindness that are infrequently reported.
- Vascular toxicity including myocardial infarction, cerebrovascular insults (stroke), hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS, which consists of anemia, reduced platelets and decreased renal function).
- Epileptic attacks.