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Carboplatin is used in the treatment of ovarian cancer and small cell lung cancer.

How it works

Carboplatin belongs to a class of medication called antineoplastic or alkalyting agents. It is a platinum-containing compound. Carboplatin kills cancer cells by binding to cell’s DNA and interfering with the repair mechanism of the cell at all stages of the cell cycle, eventually leading to cell death. It thereby slows down or stops the growth of cancer cells in the body.

Common side effects

Vomiting, Nausea, Pale colored skin, Application site itching, Constipation, Diarrhoea, Dizziness, Altered taste, Fainting, Fatigue, Weakness, Hair loss, Injection site redness, Injection site swelling, Injection site pain, Renal dysfunction, Sore mouth, Sore throat, Tingling sensation of extremity


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Expert advice

  • Inform your doctor if you have a history of kidney (renal) disorder. 
  • Kidney and liver function will be monitored during carboplatin treatment.
  • Neurological and hearing assessments may be required on regular basis during treatment with high doses of carboplatin.
  • It is generally recommended that aluminium containing equipment not be used for delivering carboplatin.
  • Concurrent treatment with following medications is not recommended: amino glycoside, vancomycin, capreomycin and diuretics.
  • Allergic reactions (like hives; skin rash; itching; reddening of the skin; difficulty breathing or swallowing; dizziness; faintness; or fast heartbeat) may occur during therapy which will be duly managed by your doctor.
  • There might be low numbers of platelets or white blood cells during therapy and hence, frequent monitoring of blood cell counts and transfusions of the same may be required.
  • Call your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following during the therapy: fever, sore throat, chills, ongoing cough and congestion, or other signs of infection; unusual bleeding or bruising; black and tarry stools; red blood in stools; bloody vomit; vomited material that looks like coffee grounds.
  • Women who are planning to become pregnant should use two methods of contraception while on this therapy and 6 months after it.
  • Men who are going to use this therapy should not father a child while on this therapy and 6 months after stopping. They should also seek guidance and counselling on sperm conservation before taking this therapy.

Frequently asked questions


Q.Is carboplatin a generic?
Yes, carboplatin is a generic platinum-based compound

Q.Is carboplatin cell cycle specific?
No, carboplatin is not a cell cycle specific anticancer medication

Q.Is carboplatin vesicant/cardio-toxic/ anthracycline?
No carboplatin is not cardio-toxic/ anthracycline/vesicant

Q.Is carboplatin FDA approved?
Yes carboplatin is an FDA approved drug

Q.Is carboplatin used for breast cancer?
It is used to treat advanced stage breast cancer

Q.Is it a platinum based drug?
Yes carboplatin is a platinum based drug and is effectively used in combination with other drug

Q.Is carboplatin available in pill form?
No carboplatin is not available in pill form

Q.Does carboplatin cause neuropathy/ hearing loss/ hair loss/ weight gain/ constipation/ leukemia?
Yes carboplatin is known to cause side effects like neuropathy, hearing loss, hair loss, weight gain, and constipation. Please inform your doctor about any side-effect that you may observe on taking this drug. Infertility while on therapy may be caused as a side effect of this drug but it may be reverse after stopping the therapy. Yes carboplatin may cause leukemia if it is used for a long duration.

Content on this page was last updated on 18 November, 2016, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)