What is cyclophosphamide?
Cyclophosphamide is a cancer (chemotherapeutic) medication. Cyclophosphamide interferes with the growth of cancer cells and slows their growth and spread in the body.
Cyclophosphamide is used to treat several types of cancer. Cyclophosphamide is also used to treat certain cases of nephrotic syndrome (kidney disease) in children.
Cyclophosphamide may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.
Before taking cyclophosphamide, tell your doctor if you
- have an infection or have had recent vaccinations;
- have a low level of white blood cells or platelets (detected by blood tests);
- have bone marrow problems;
- have been previously treated with x-ray therapy;
- have been previously treated with other chemotherapy medicines (i.e., Alkeran, CeeNU, Leukeran, Myleran, and others);
- have had your adrenal glands removed;
- need to have surgery;
- have any unhealed wounds;
- have a history of heart disease;
- have liver disease; or
- have kidney disease.
You may not be able to take cyclophosphamide, or you may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring during treatment if you have any of the conditions listed above.
Cyclophosphamide is in the FDA pregnancy category D. This means that cyclophosphamide is known to be harmful to an unborn baby. Cyclophosphamide may also affect egg production in women and sperm production in men. Do not take cyclophosphamide without first talking to your doctor if you are pregnant or could become pregnant during treatment. Use of cyclophosphamide by the father prior to conception has also been associated with birth defects. Contraceptive measures are recommended during treatment with cyclophosphamide for both men and women.
Cyclophosphamide passes into breast milk and may harm a nursing infant. Do not take cyclophosphamide without first talking to your doctor if you are breast feeding a baby.
Cyclophosphamide can lower the activity of the immune system making you more susceptible to infection. Avoid contact with people who have colds, the flu, or other contagious illnesses. In addition, do not receive vaccines that contain a live strain of the virus (e.g., live oral polio vaccine) and avoid contact with individuals who have recently been vaccinated with a live virus.
Back to top
Seek emergency medical attention.
Symptoms of a cyclophosphamide overdose may include decreased bone marrow function, infection, and heart problems.
Take the missed oral dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the dose you missed and take only the next regularly scheduled dose as directed. Do not take a double dose of this medication.
Contact your doctor if you miss a dose of cyclophosphamide injection.
Back to top
If you experience any of the following serious side effects, seek emergency medical attention or contact your doctor immediately:
- an allergic reaction (shortness of breath; closing of your throat; difficulty breathing; swelling of your lips, face, or tongue; or hives);
- blood in the urine;
- black or tarry stools;
- painful or difficult urination;
- signs of infection such as fever; chills, or sore throat;
- jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
- lower back or side pain;
- chest pain, difficulty breathing, or swelling;
- unusual bleeding or bruising; or
- changes in bone marrow function (detected by blood tests).
Other less serious side effects may be more likely to occur. Talk to your doctor if you experience
- nausea, vomiting, or decreased appetite;
- mouth sores;
- abdominal pain;
- temporary hair loss;
- temporary or permanent sterility;
- changes in skin color; or
- changes in nails.
In some cases, secondary cancers have been reported to occur during and following treatment with cyclophosphamide. Talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of this medication.
Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Back to top
Before taking cyclophosphamide, tell your doctor if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:
- phenobarbital (Luminal, Solfoton);
- allopurinol (Zyloprim);
- digoxin (Lanoxin);
- warfarin (Coumadin);
- a thiazide diuretic (water pill) such as chlorothiazide (Diuril), hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ, HydroDiuril, Esidrix, Microzide, Oretic), chlorthalidone (Hygroton, Thalitone), indapamide (Lozol), metolazone (Mykrox, Zaroxolyn), and others; or
- another chemotherapy medicine.
You may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring during treatment if you are taking any of the medicines listed above.
Do not receive "live” vaccines during treatment with cyclophosphamide. Administration of a live vaccine may be dangerous during treatment with cyclophosphamide.
Other drugs may interact with cyclophosphamide. Talk to your doctor and pharmacist before taking any other prescription or over-the-counter medicines, including herbal products, during treatment with cyclophosphamide.
Cytoxan, Cytoxan Lyophilized, Neosar, and cyclophosphamide
Back to top
Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.
Copyright 1996-2004 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version 2.05. Revision date 8/23/04