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Generic Name: cyclophosphamide (oral/injection) (sye kloe FOSS fa mide)
Brand Name: Cytoxan, Neosar

What is cyclophosphamide?

Cyclophosphamide is a cancer medication that interferes with the growth and spread of cancer cells 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 not listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about cyclophosphamide?

You should not use cyclophosphamide if you are allergic to it, or if you have severe bone marrow suppression.

Before you receive cyclophosphamide, tell your doctor if you have an active or recent infection, a weak immune system, heart disease, liver or kidney disease, or if you have ever been treated with radiation. Tell your doctor about all other cancer medications and treatments you are receiving.

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Cyclophosphamide can lower blood cells that help your body fight infections and help your blood to clot. Your blood may need to be tested often. Avoid being near people who are sick or have infections. Avoid activities that may increase your risk of bleeding injury. Tell your doctor at once if you develop signs of infection.

Drink plenty of liquids while you are using cyclophosphamide, to prevent harmful effects on your bladder.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking cyclophosphamide?

You should not use cyclophosphamide if you are allergic to it, or if you have severe bone marrow suppression.

To make sure cyclophosphamide is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have any of these conditions:

  • an active or recent infection;

  • a weak immune system (caused by disease or by using certain medicines);

  • heart disease;

  • kidney disease;

  • liver disease;

  • if you are receiving other cancer treatments; or

  • if you have ever received radiation treatment.

Using cyclophosphamide may increase your risk of developing other types of cancer, such as bladder cancer. Talk with your doctor about your specific risk.

FDA pregnancy category D. Do not use cyclophosphamide if you are pregnant. It could harm the unborn baby. Use effective birth control, and tell your doctor if you become pregnant during treatment.

This medication may affect fertility (your ability to have children), whether you are a man or a woman.

Cyclophosphamide can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while you are using this medication.

How is cyclophosphamide given?

Follow the directions on your prescription label. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

Cyclophosphamide is sometimes given as a pill or liquid. Cyclophosphamide may also be given as an injection into a vein through an IV. You will receive the injection in a clinic or hospital setting.

Drink plenty of liquids while you are using cyclophosphamide, to prevent harmful effects on your bladder.

Measure liquid medicine with a special dose-measuring spoon or medicine cup, not with a regular table spoon. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one.

Cyclophosphamide can lower blood cells that help your body fight infections and help your blood to clot. This can make it easier for you to bleed from an injury or get sick from being around others who are ill. Your blood may need to be tested often. Visit your doctor regularly.

If you need surgery, tell the surgeon ahead of time that you are using cyclophosphamide. You may need to stop using the medicine for a short time.

Ask your doctor or pharmacist how to safely handle this medication. Cyclophosphamide can be harmful if it gets on your skin. If this occurs, wash thoroughly with soap and water.

Store cyclophosphamide tablets at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

Store the liquid medicine in the refrigerator, do not freeze. Throw away any unused liquid after 14 days.

What happens if I miss a dose?

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.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

Overdose symptoms may include severe forms of some of the side effects listed in this medication guide.

What should I avoid while taking cyclophosphamide?

Avoid being near people who are sick or have infections. Tell your doctor at once if you develop signs of infection.

Do not receive a "live" vaccine while using cyclophosphamide, and avoid coming into contact with anyone who has recently received a live vaccine. There is a chance that the virus could be passed on to you. Live vaccines include measles, mumps, rubella (MMR), Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG), oral polio, rotavirus, smallpox, yellow fever, varicella (chickenpox), zoster (shingles), oral typhoid vaccine, and nasal flu (influenza) vaccine.

Cyclophosphamide side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • blood in your urine or stools, pain or burning when you urinate;

  • pale skin, feeling light-headed, rapid heart rate, trouble concentrating;

  • sudden chest pain or discomfort, wheezing, dry cough or hack, feeling short of breath on exertion;

  • fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms, sores in your mouth and throat;

  • easy bruising, unusual bleeding (nose, mouth, vagina, or rectum), purple or red pinpoint spots under your skin;

  • extreme thirst with headache, vomiting, and weakness;

  • jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes); or

  • severe skin reaction -- fever, sore throat, swelling in your face or tongue, burning in your eyes, skin pain, followed by a red or purple skin rash that spreads (especially in the face or upper body) and causes blistering and peeling.

Other common side effects may include:

  • nausea, loss of appetite, stomach pain or upset, diarrhea;

  • temporary hair loss;

  • a wound that will not heal;

  • missed menstrual periods;

  • 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.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

What other drugs will affect cyclophosphamide?

Tell your doctor about all medications you use, and those you start or stop using during your treatment with cyclophosphamide, especially:

  • phenobarbital (Solfoton); or

  • other cancer medications.

This list is not complete. Other drugs may interact with cyclophosphamide, including prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your doctor or pharmacist can provide more information about cyclophosphamide.
  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
  • Disclaimer: 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 1996-2012 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 4.01. Revision Date: 2012-11-14, 12:56:02 PM.

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