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Cisplatin Hair Loss

cisplatin hair loss


Hair loss is one of the more dreaded side effect of chemotherapy for cancer, but not all chemotherapy drugs have the same effect. Some medications almost always result in hair loss, whereas others cause minimal hair loss. We will look at the particular drugs most likely to cause hair loss (alopecia), but there are other factors that can affect hair loss as well, such as the dose of the drug, the timing of administration, and the combination of drugs you receive. Fortunately, there are options available to help people cope with this symptom, ranging from a wide array of hats, wigs, and scarves, to the relatively recent approach of using cooling to attempt to prevent hair loss partially or completely.


Treatment of advanced bladder cancer, metastatic ovarian cancer, and metastatic testicular cancer. Testicular, ovarian, bladder, head and neck, esophageal, small and non-small cell lung, breast, cervical, stomach and prostate cancers. Also to treat Hodgkin's and non-Hodgkin's lymphomas, neuroblastoma, sarcomas, multiple myeloma, melanoma, and mesothelioma.

How to Take?

  • Cisplatin is an irritant. An irritant is a chemical that can cause inflammation of the vein through which it is given.
  • If cisplatin escapes from the vein it can cause tissue damage. The nurse or doctor who gives cisplatin must be carefully trained. If you experience pain or notice redness or swelling at the IV site while you are receiving cisplatin, alert your health care professional immediately.
  • Before and/or after the cisplatin infusion, extra IV fluids are given and care is taken to ensure adequate hydration before both during and after cisplatin, to protect your kidney function.

Which Chemotherapy Drugs Cause Hair Loss?

There are a number of chemotherapy agents used in breast cancer—many of them used in combination. Common regimens for adjuvant treatment such as Cytoxan and Adriamycin followed by Taxol are usually associated with hair loss.

Here is a list of chemotherapy drugs—not exclusive to breast cancer—that are most and least likely to cause hair loss.

Side Effect

isplatin has quite a few side effects. The type and severity of effects vary considerably from patient to patient. Sometimes they are tolerable. For some these side effects are made worse by other medications or comorbid conditions.Cisplatin's widespread use is due to it effectiveness, so the benefits outweigh the detractions much of the time. Also, since cisplatin has well-known and widely documented effects and side-effects, it can be used as a base treatment to provide consistent care for the patient while testing the effectiveness and side effects of another drug.

Some side effects of cisplatin:

  • Changes in how food tastes
  • Diarrhea
  • Nephrotoxicity - causes damage to the kidneys
  • Neurotoxicity - causes damage to the nerves
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Ototoxicity - hearing loss. Scary because this is not treatable
  • Alopecia - hair loss


Before starting cisplatin treatment, make sure you tell your doctor about any other medications you are taking (including prescription, over-the-counter, vitamins, herbal remedies, etc.). Do not take aspirin, products containing aspirin unless your doctor specifically permits this.Cisplatin may be inadvisable if you have a history of severe allergic reaction to cisplatin, carboplatin, other platinum-containing formulations or mannitol.

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