Carboplatin (Paraplatin) is a platinum-based chemotherapy. Carboplatin and similar medicines contain the metal platinum, and are used to treat many types of cancer.


How carboplatin works

Carboplatin kills cancer cells by damaging their DNA and stopping them from dividing.


Who gets carboplatin

Carboplatin may be used to treat metastatic breast cancer. It can also be used with the chemotherapy medicines docetaxel (Taxotere) or paclitaxel (Taxol) and the targeted therapy trastuzumab (Herceptin) after surgery as adjuvant treatment for HER2-positive breast cancers, in the regimen called TCH.

You may be offered carboplatin as part of a clinical trial. Researchers are looking at the benefits of using carboplatin to treat specific types of breast cancer, including breast cancer that has developed because of a BRCA gene mutation.


How carboplatin is given

Carboplatin is taken by vein. It is usually given every 3 weeks, though how often you receive carboplatin and the total number of cycles depends on your situation.


Side effects

Different medicines have different side effects. You may not have every side effect related to each medicine. Side effects of carboplatin include:

Be sure to tell your doctor about any medicines you are taking, including vitamins, herbal supplements and over-the counter-medicines, to make sure they will not interfere with your chemotherapy treatment.

While you are taking carboplatin, drink lots of fluids to avoid kidney side effects. Ask your doctor how much and how often you should drink each day.

Seek immediate medical care if you have chills or a fever of 100.5 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, which may be signs of infection.

Talk to your doctor, pharmacist or nurse about all your side effects so that they can help you manage them. You can also go to our section on Side Effects for more information.


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Reviewed and updated: August 31, 2015

Reviewed by: Adrienne Gropper Waks, MD


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