Jump to main content
Jump to site search
PLANNED MAINTENANCE Close the message box

Scheduled maintenance work on Wednesday 22nd May 2019 from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM (GMT).

During this time our website performance may be temporarily affected. We apologise for any inconvenience this might cause and thank you for your patience.

Issue 19, 2018
Previous Article Next Article

The side effects of platinum-based chemotherapy drugs: a review for chemists

Author affiliations


The platinum-based drugs cisplatin, carboplatin and oxaliplatin are regularly prescribed in the treatment of cancer and while they are effective, their use is limited by their severe, dose-limiting side effects (also referred to as adverse effects/events). In total, a cancer patient can experience any combination of around 40 specific side effects. The dose-limiting side effect for cisplatin is nephrotoxicity, for carboplatin it is myelosuppression, and for oxaliplatin it is neurotoxicity. Other common side effects include anaphylaxis, cytopenias (including leukopenia and neutropenia, thrombocytopenia, and anaemia), hepatotoxicity, ototoxicity, cardiotoxicity, nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, mucositis, stomatitis, pain, alopecia, anorexia, cachexia, and asthenia. The side effects may require patients to be prescribed dose reductions in their platinum drugs of between 25 and 100%. Furthermore, patients require extensive monitoring of their biochemistries, kidney and liver function, and depending on the drug, hearing tests. Finally, patients are commonly co-prescribed additional non-chemotherapy based drugs to treat the side effects which can include antiemetics, antibiotics and myeloid growth factors, mannitol, propafenone, saline hyperhydration, magnesium supplements, monoclonal antibody cytokine blockers, and antioxidants.

Graphical abstract: The side effects of platinum-based chemotherapy drugs: a review for chemists

Back to tab navigation

Publication details

The article was received on 05 Mar 2018, accepted on 29 Mar 2018 and first published on 29 Mar 2018

Article type: Perspective
DOI: 10.1039/C8DT00838H
Dalton Trans., 2018,47, 6645-6653

  •   Request permissions

    The side effects of platinum-based chemotherapy drugs: a review for chemists

    R. Oun, Y. E. Moussa and N. J. Wheate, Dalton Trans., 2018, 47, 6645
    DOI: 10.1039/C8DT00838H

Search articles by author