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Myocardial Infarction
Rheumatoid Arthritis
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Look Up > Supplements > Selenium > Interactions
Interactions with Selenium
Cisplatin; Doxorubicin

Selenium may reduce side effects from cisplatin without reducing the clinical effectiveness of this medication (Olas and Wachowicz 1997). Administration of sodium selenite (2 mg/kg) one hour before cisplatin treatment greatly reduced the nephrotoxic effects associated with the drug but did not alter antitumor activity (Baldew et al. 1989). The pharmacokinetic parameters of the drug were also not affected by the combination of radiolabeled sodium selenite and cisplatin (Vermeulen et al. 1993).

A clinical trial involving 41 patients with ovarian or metastatic endometrial cancer evaluated the effects of selenium on various cancer treatments (Sundstrom et al. 1989). Patients were treated with cisplatin in combination with either doxorubicin and cyclophosphamide or melphalan. In addition, some patients were supplemented with selenium (200 mcg/day sodium selenate), vitamin E (300 mg/day), or selenium and vitamin E. Selenium supplementation during cisplatin treatment reduced measures of oxidative stress.

Preclinical studies also suggest that selenium supplementation limits doxorubicin-induced cardiotoxicity (Boucher et al. 1995; Dimitrov et al. 1987). Selenium was more effective when given prior to doxorubicin exposure.


Baldew GS, van den Hamer CJ, Los G, et al. Selenium-induced protection against cis-diamminedichloroplatinum(II) nephrotoxicity in mice and rats. Cancer Res. 1989;49:3020-3023.

Boucher F, Coudray C, Tirard V, et al. Oral selenium supplementation in rats reduces cardiac toxicity of adriamycin during ischemia and reperfusion. Nutr. 1995;11(5 Suppl):708-711.

Dimitrov NV, Hay MB, Siew S, et al. Abrogation of adriamycin-induced cardiotoxicity by selenium in rabbits. Am J Pathol. 1987;126:376-383.

Olas B, Wachowicz B. Selenium in the cytotoxicity of cisplatin. Postepy Hig Med Dosw. 1997;51(1):95-108.

Sundstrom H, Korpela H, Sajanti E, et al. Supplementation with selenium, vitamin E and their combination in gynaecological cancer during cytotoxic chemotherapy. Carcinog. 1989;10:273-278.

Vermeulen NP, Baldew GS, Los G, et al. Reduction of cisplatin nephrotoxicity by sodium selenite. Lack of interaction at the pharmacokinetic level of both compounds. Drug Metab Dispos. 1993; 21:30-36.

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