Cyclophosphamide

Pronunciation

Generic Name: cyclophosphamide (SYE-kloe-FOS-fa-mide)
Brand Name: Examples include Cytoxan and Neosar

Cyclophosphamide is used for:

Treating certain types of the following cancers: lymphoma, multiple myeloma, leukemia, mycosis fungoides, neuroblastoma, ovarian cancer, eye cancer, and breast cancer. It is usually used in combination with other medicines. It may also be used to treat certain kidney problems (nephrotic syndrome) in children or for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Cyclophosphamide is an antineoplastic. It works by stopping or slowing the growth or spread of certain cancer cells.

Do NOT use cyclophosphamide if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in cyclophosphamide or to other similar medicines
  • you have severely suppressed bone marrow function
  • you are in the first 3 months of pregnancy or you are breast-feeding
  • you are taking a tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-blocking medicine (eg, etanercept)

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

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Before using cyclophosphamide:

Some medical conditions may interact with cyclophosphamide. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have an infection, chickenpox, a suppressed immune system, bone marrow suppression or other bone marrow problems, low levels of white blood cells or platelets, or liver or kidney problems
  • if you are receiving or have received cytotoxic therapy or x-ray or radiation therapy
  • if you have had an adrenal gland removed (adrenalectomy)
  • if you are receiving or have received chemotherapy or radiation therapy

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with cyclophosphamide. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • TNF-blocking medicines (eg, etanercept) because the risk of certain types of cancer may be increased
  • Doxorubicin or trastuzumab because the risk of heart-related side effects and toxicity may be increased
  • Imidazoles (eg, ketoconazole) or phenobarbital because they may increase the risk of cyclophosphamide's side effects
  • Ondansetron because it may decrease cyclophosphamide's effectiveness
  • Succinylcholine because its actions and the risk of its side effects may be increased by cyclophosphamide
  • Indomethacin because the risk of its side effects may be increased by cyclophosphamide
  • Digoxin because its effectiveness may be decreased by cyclophosphamide

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if cyclophosphamide may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use cyclophosphamide:

Use cyclophosphamide as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Cyclophosphamide is usually given as an injection at your doctor's office, hospital, or clinic. If you will be using cyclophosphamide at home, a health care provider will teach you how to use it. Be sure you understand how to use cyclophosphamide. Follow the procedures you are taught when you use a dose. Contact your health care provider if you have any questions.
  • Do not use cyclophosphamide if it contains particles, is cloudy or discolored, or if the vial is cracked or damaged.
  • If you experience nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or loss of appetite, contact your doctor to discuss ways to reduce these side effects.
  • Drinking extra fluids and emptying your bladder regularly while you are taking cyclophosphamide is recommended. Check with your doctor for instructions.
  • Keep this product, as well as syringes and needles, out of the reach of children and pets. Do not reuse needles, syringes, or other materials. Ask your health care provider how to dispose of these materials after use. Follow all local rules for disposal.
  • If you miss a dose of cyclophosphamide, contact your doctor right away.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use cyclophosphamide.

Important safety information:

  • Cyclophosphamide may reduce the number of clot-forming cells (platelets) in your blood. Avoid activities that may cause bruising or injury. Tell your doctor if you have unusual bruising or bleeding. Tell your doctor if you have dark, tarry, or bloody stools.
  • Cyclophosphamide may lower the ability of your body to fight infection. Avoid contact with people who have colds or infections. Tell your doctor if you notice signs of infection like fever, sore throat, rash, or chills.
  • Tell your doctor or dentist that you take cyclophosphamide before you receive any medical or dental care, emergency care, or surgery.
  • Cyclophosphamide may decrease your body's ability to heal wounds. Discuss any questions or concerns with your doctor.
  • Cyclophosphamide may increase your chance of developing a second cancer, sometimes even years after stopping treatment with cyclophosphamide. Discuss any questions or concerns with your doctor.
  • Cyclophosphamide may cause infertility that is sometimes permanent. Discuss any questions or concerns with your doctor.
  • Check with your doctor before receiving any vaccinations while you are using cyclophosphamide.
  • The use of birth control is recommended while using cyclophosphamide.
  • Lab tests, including complete blood cell counts, platelet counts, and urine tests, may be performed while you use cyclophosphamide. These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
  • Use cyclophosphamide with caution in the ELDERLY; they may be more sensitive to its effects.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: Cyclophosphamide has been shown to cause harm to the fetus. Do not become pregnant while you are using it. If you think you may be pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using cyclophosphamide while you are pregnant. Cyclophosphamide is found in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while taking cyclophosphamide.

Possible side effects of cyclophosphamide:

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Appetite loss; absence of menstrual periods; color change in skin; diarrhea; general unwell feeling; hair loss; nausea; skin rash; stomach discomfort or pain; texture change in nails; vomiting; weakness.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); blood in urine; bloody or black tarry stools; chest pain; chills; fever; hallucinations; increased or decreased urination; infection; lower back or abdominal pain; pain, swelling, or redness at the injection site; painful urination; persistent cough; pneumonia; red, swollen, or blistered skin; seizures; severe stomach pain; shortness of breath; sore throat; sores in the mouth; swelling of the hands or feet; unusual bruising or bleeding; unusual or severe tiredness or weakness; yellowing of the skin or eyes.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include back or stomach pain; fast heartbeat; red or bloody urine; weakness.

Proper storage of cyclophosphamide:

Cyclophosphamide is usually handled and stored by a health care provider. If you are using cyclophosphamide at home, store cyclophosphamide as directed by your pharmacist or health care provider. Keep cyclophosphamide out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about cyclophosphamide, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Cyclophosphamide is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take cyclophosphamide or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about cyclophosphamide. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to cyclophosphamide. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using cyclophosphamide.

Issue Date: November 5, 2014
Database Edition 14.4.1.002
Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

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