1 (edited by AppreciateHelp Sat, 10 Sep 2011 19:04:17)

Topic: Shortage of CISPLATINUM-Replaced with XELODA (will use w/GEMZAR)

To date, my husband has received only three treatments of CISPLATIN and GEMZAR chemos out of a 6 months chemo treatment plan for cancer recurrence.

Today, we were informed that because there is a shortage of CISPLATIN in our area, and because MEDICARE and the DRUG COMPANY cannot agree on acceptable monies for the product, my husband will no longer be able to get CISPLATIN.  He will instead be given XELODA in pill form.

-Has anyone else had this shortage of CISPLATIN alter their treatments;
-Please comment if you've had chemo including both XELODA with GEMZAR (side affects, effectiveness, etc.).
Thanks!  Located in GEORGIA.

Re: Shortage of CISPLATINUM-Replaced with XELODA (will use w/GEMZAR)

Hi Appreciate.

I am so sorry to hear what your husband is going through right now with this shortage of Cisplatin. This is not right and it is not something that you both should have to deal with at all. I had never heard of this so did a bit of looking around and came up with these news links.

http://yourlife.usatoday.com/health/sto … 50148996/1


This link from the FDA was updated regarding Cisplatin in May of this year -

http://www.fda.gov/drugs/drugsafety/dru … 050792.htm

We have a chemo board here that may help regarding your question about Xeloda and Gemzar, hopefully you will find some posts there about this combination.

http://www.cholangiocarcinoma.org/punbb … .php?id=16

Also, the search forum function at the top of the page will be of use to you too. Just type in Xeloda and Gemzar.

My best wishes to you and your husband,


Any advice or comments I give are based on personal experiences and knowledge and are my opinions only, they are not to be substituted for professional medical advice. Please seek professional advice from a qualified doctor or medical professional.

Re: Shortage of CISPLATINUM-Replaced with XELODA (will use w/GEMZAR)

Appreciate....this drug shortage had been predicted last year already.  I must say that it is very disturbing to see for companies to withhold producing life saving drugs from cancer patients.  Unfortunately drug companies are driven by profit and will do anything to keep their stockholders happy.  Not the kind of business I have much respect for. 
Gemzar and Xeloda have been used and continue to be used for the treatment of this cancer.  I made sure that my husband used a moisturizing balm on his hands and feet.  Hiccups were a problem, but as someone had mentioned a teaspoon of sugar really workes.
Good luck and please, keep us posted.
All my best wishes,


Re: Shortage of CISPLATINUM-Replaced with XELODA (will use w/GEMZAR)

Thanks you guys....

Gavin:  Thank you so much for the links to the media websites. You are really top-of-your game!  I'll also search out the chemo board for responses concerning the same and learn from them.  I don't use the computer a lot, so your shortcuts and suggestions are really helpful.

Marions:  Thanks for your comments and your suggestions regarding the hiccups and moisturizing balm.  I have already printed out a possible "side affects" list for Xeloda to assist me in caring for my husband.  So as I find solutions or remedies I'm making note of them. If you think of any more, let me know please.

This CHANGE of cancer meds from CISPLATIN to XELODA just sorta blind-sided us.  But we are very grateful that an alternative is available.  I've prayed so much for God to heal my husband and guide all those who assist in my husband's care, that this could just be God's way of answering. 

I am soooo glad to have found this website!  It is really well organized and truely a treasure for caregivers and patients. 

Thank you BOTH for your timely responses!  Take care.

Re: Shortage of CISPLATINUM-Replaced with XELODA (will use w/GEMZAR)

Dear Appreciate....Teddy had hiccups for 4 months after his Whipple surgery. We could not find a thing to help and none of the doctors or nurses knew of anything other than what we had tried. One day we were talking to a Pharmacist friend of ours and he said, "Teddy, I am surprised at you, being a Sicilian. There is a wonderful cure from Italy!". Its called Briosche and comes in a blue plastic bottle. Sold at CVS and Walgreens. Well, we got it, he took it twice in one hour and never had hiccups again! It is very much like Alka Seltzer
not in what it does but in looks and the way you take it. Best of luck as I know the hiccups are not pleasant. I am hoping that he sails right through the CIS/XEL
and you will be the most prepared couple in the world just in case!


Re: Shortage of CISPLATINUM-Replaced with XELODA (will use w/GEMZAR)

Dear Lainey:  Hiccups for 4 months!!  WOW, I can only imagine what all you must have experienced, researched and tried.

This is another reason this website is so GRAND...
-it gives access to an UNLIMITED collection of caregivers and patient's experiences dealing with CHOLANGIOCARCINOMA, making it easier for those elsewhere to be BETTER informed.  The people experiencing this cancer FIRST HAND are those in the FIGHT with no gloves on, and they have MUCH to offer.   

Thanks so much for your reply.  I have added your remedy to my ongoing list of side affects/solutions.  In all that I do, I pray all the time that God will strengthen me and allow me to go above and beyond in caring for my husband.  Having seen God's hands at work before in answering prayers many times, I know there is Power in Prayer.

You are right, "Attitude is Everything" and I thank you for you help now, and always.