Before you begin using a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should use this medication.
Blood clotting: This medication can reduce the number of platelet cells in the blood and increase your risk of bleeding. Tell your doctor immediately if you notice any signs that your blood is not clotting as quickly as usual (e.g., black and tarry stools, blood in the urine, easy bruising, or cuts that won't stop bleeding). Your doctor will do blood tests regularly to monitor the number of platelets in your blood.
Gout: This medication may cause high levels of uric acid in the blood, making gout more likely to occur. If you have gout or a history of gout, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed. Report any unusual joint pain or swelling to your doctor as soon as possible.
Hearing impairment: This medication can cause permanent hearing damage and should not be given to anyone with hearing impairment. Your hearing will be monitored closely while you are using this medication.
Infection: In addition to killing cancer cells, this medication can reduce the number of cells that fight infection in the body (white blood cells). If possible, avoid contact with people with contagious infections. Tell your doctor immediately if you notice signs of an infection, such as fever or chills, severe diarrhea, shortness of breath, prolonged dizziness, headache, stiff neck, weight loss, or listlessness. Your doctor will do blood tests regularly to monitor the number of specific types of blood cells in your blood.
Kidney function: Cisplatin can reduce kidney function and cause kidney damage. For this reason, it is very important to drink plenty of fluids right after your treatment. Your doctor may want you to drink extra fluids while taking this medication in order to help you pass more fluid and protect your kidneys. Your doctor will monitor your kidney function closely while you are using this medication. If you have reduced kidney function you should not use this medication.
Nervous system: Cisplatin can cause damage to the nervous system. If you experience symptoms such as loss of taste, tingling in the hands or feet, or balance trouble, tell your doctor as soon as possible. These side effects are often reversible if the medication is stopped early.
Pregnancy: There is a possibility of birth defects if either the man or woman is using cisplatin at the time of conception, or if it is taken during pregnancy. This medication should not be used during pregnancy unless the benefits outweigh the risks.
Use effective birth control while you are being treated with this medication. If you become pregnant while taking this medication, contact your doctor immediately.
Breast-feeding: This medication passes into breast milk. Women receiving this medication should not breast-feed.