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Carboplatin (Paraplatin®)

By: Dr. Dawn Ruben

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  • Carboplatin is a platinum-containing drug used to treat malignant cancer. The drug affects the DNA of rapidly dividing cells but the exact mechanism of action is not clearly understood.
  • As with most cancer-treating drugs, carboplatin is used in combination with other drugs to increase its ability to combat malignancy.
  • Due to the toxic nature of carboplatin, it is given in a hospital setting. The veterinarian and all assistants should wear gloves when handling the drug.
  • Carboplatin is a prescription drug and can only be obtained from a veterinarian or by prescription from a veterinarian.
  • This drug is not approved for use in animals by the Food and Drug Administration but it is prescribed legally by veterinarians as an extra-label drug.

    Brand Names and Other Names

  • This drug is registered for use in humans only.
  • Human formulations: Paraplatin (Bristol Myers Squibb)
  • Veterinary formulations: None

    Use of Carboplatin

  • Carboplatin is used primarily to treat osteosarcoma, a cancer of the bones. The drug has also been used to treat melanoma, squamous cell carcinoma, ovarian carcinoma, feline vaccine-associated sarcomas and transitional cell carcinoma.

    Precautions and Side Effects

  • While generally safe and effective when prescribed by a veterinarian, carboplatin can cause side effects in some animals.
  • Carboplatin should not be used in animals with known hypersensitivity or allergy to the drug.
  • As with other cancer-treating drugs, carboplatin is a strong drug with potential serious side effects.
  • Carboplatin should be avoided in dogs with active infections, hearing impairment, kidney or liver disease.
  • Carboplatin may interact with other medications. Consult with your veterinarian to determine if other drugs your pet is receiving could interact with carboplatin. Such drugs include certain vaccinations.
  • Kidney damage, liver damage, bone marrow dysfunction, loss of appetite, seizures, diarrhea and hearing loss can occur after administration of carboplatin.
  • Many patients will vomit immediately after the drug is given.

    How Carboplatin is Supplied

  • Carboplatin is only available as an injection in 50 mg vials, 150 mg vials and 450 mg vials.

    Dosing Information

  • Medication should never be administered without first consulting your veterinarian. Carboplatin is only administered in a hospital setting.
  • Carboplatin is dosed at 250 to 300 mg/m2 intravenous every 3 to 4 weeks for dogs.
  • In cats, carboplatin is dosed at 180 to 210 mg/m2 intravenous every 3 to 4 weeks.
  • The duration of administration depends on the condition being treated, response to the medication and the development of any adverse effects.

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