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Revised: November 13, 2018
Published: May 01, 2002

(For veterinary information only)

The size of the tablet/medication is NOT an indication of a proper dose. Never administer any drug without your veterinarian's input. Serious side effects or death can occur if you use drugs on your pet without your veterinarian's advice. 

It is our policy not to give dosing information over the internet.

(Also called cis-Platinum II, cis-DDP, CDDP, DDP, or cis-diamminedichloroplatinum)

Brand Names: Platinol-AQ, Cisplatina


Cancer is the condition where a significant number of malignant cells have defeated the body’s natural protective mechanisms and have proliferated out of control. This is a bad situation because malignant cells have lost their ability to obey the body's regulatory systems and have taken up dividing aggressively and invading other tissues, obliterating normal tissue as they rampantly divide and grow. Some cancers limit their destruction to the area where they started while other cancers invade lymphatic or blood vessels and are carried to distant body locations to begin their cancerous destruction anew.

If a group of cancer cells is localized to one area it may be possible to surgically remove them but treatment is more difficult if they have spread. For this situation, we need medications that can travel to remote body areas and selectively kill cancer cells and leave normal cells alone. We can use the body’s own bloodstream to carry these medications to all the distant sites where cancer may have set up. This kind of treatment is called chemotherapy.

Most chemotherapy drugs exploit the fact that cancer cells are rapidly dividing and target cell division. It appears cisplatin cross-links DNA strands thus interfering with cell division though the details of how cisplatin works are not completely understood.

How this Medication is Used

Cisplatin is usually used intravenously and is given in conjunction with a process called diuresis. Diuresis employs intravenous (IV) fluids to perfuse (force fluid through) the kidneys and assist them in their toxin filtration duties, which means your pet will have to be hospitalized on the day of treatment and receive IV fluids for several hours along with the IV cisplatin.

In specific situations, cisplatin is injected directly into a tumor, such as a skin tumor. Cisplatin may also be injected directly into the chest cavity to control cancerous fluid build up in the chest.

Ciisplatin cannot be used in cats due to severe lung side effects.

Tumors for which cisplatin are effective:

Side Effects

Nausea beginning six hours after treatment and persisting for another six hours is expected with cisplatin. Anti-nauseal medications can be used to lessen this side effect and help maintain patient comfort.

Cisplatin can cause kidney damage. Monitoring blood tests are done regularly so that therapy can be modified should kidney values go up.

Bone marrow suppression can occur on cisplatin. Monitoring tests are done regularly to assess the counts of different blood cells.

Cisplatin can interfere with normal hearing by affecting the cochleovestibular nerve which controls hearing. (Cisplatin is what is called an ototoxic drug.) Some degree of hearing loss is believed to occur in all humans who use cisplatin. Use of antioxidant supplements may mitigate this side effect but also can reduce the efficacy of cisplatin against the cancer it is combatting. Controversy is ongoing.

In humans, a cisplatin-associated neuropathy has been described (involving a sensory nerve interference). This has not been documented in dogs but several cases of dogs who developed nerve problems (lower motor neuron weakness) in their rear legs have been reported. It is not clear if this weakness, though, was part of their cancer syndrome or due to the medication.

Interactions With Other Drugs

Use of cisplatin with the diuretic furosemide might increase the possibility of hearing loss.

Concerns and Cautions

  • Cisplatin concentrates in the liver, intestines and kidneys and is still in the body six months after treatment but 80 percent eliminated in urine after 48 hours.
  • Cats are vulnerable to severe lung side effects and cannot receive cisplatin.
  • Cisplatin cannot be used in patients with renal disease or bone marrow suppression. Patients with renal disease can take another medication called carboplatin.
  • Cisplatin impairs fertility and causes birth defects.
  • Cisplatin is excreted in body waste for two days following treatment. Gloves should be worn to handle waste. Waste and gloves should be sealed in plastic bags before disposal in the regular trash.

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