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All about: Cyclophosphamide

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Generic Name: Cyclophosphamide Injection (sigh-kloe-FOSS-fuh-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 tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-blocking medicines (eg, etanercept)

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

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 planning to become pregnant
  • 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:

  • Ondansetron because the effectiveness of Cyclophosphamide may be decreased
  • Imidazoles (eg, ketoconazole) or phenobarbital because the risk of side effects of Cyclophosphamide may be increased
  • Doxorubicin or trastuzumab because the risk of heart-related side effects and toxicity may be increased
  • TNF-blocking medicines (eg, etanercept) because the risk of certain types of cancer may be increased
  • Indomethacin because the risk of side effects may be increased
  • Succinylcholine because actions and side effects may be increased by Cyclophosphamide
  • Digoxin because 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 administered as an injection at your doctor's office, hospital, or clinic. If you are using Cyclophosphamide at home, carefully follow the injection procedures taught to you by your health care provider.
  • If Cyclophosphamide contains particles or is discolored, or if the vial is cracked or damaged in any way, do not use it.
  • 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 away from pets. Do not reuse needles, syringes, or other materials. Dispose of properly after use. Ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain local regulations for proper disposal.
  • If you miss a dose of Cyclophosphamide , contact your doctor immediately.

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. To prevent bleeding, avoid situations in which bruising or injury may occur. Report any unusual bleeding, bruising, blood in stools, or dark, tarry stools to your doctor.
  • Cyclophosphamide may lower your body's ability to fight infection. Prevent infection by avoiding contact with people with colds or other infections. Notify your doctor of any signs of infection, including fever, sore throat, rashes, or chills.
  • Before you have any medical or dental treatments, emergency care, or surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are using Cyclophosphamide . If possible, inform the doctor or dentist at least 10 days before the procedure.
  • 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 to monitor your progress or to check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
  • Use Cyclophosphamide with caution in the ELDERLY because they may be more sensitive to its effects.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: Cyclophosphamide has been shown to cause harm to the fetus. Avoid becoming pregnant while you are using Cyclophosphamide . If you think you may be pregnant, discuss with your doctor the benefits and risks of using Cyclophosphamide during pregnancy. Cyclophosphamide is excreted 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; 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 or need medical advice about side effects, contact your doctor or health care provider. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 (1-800-332-1088) or at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center (http://www.aapcc.org/findyour.htm), 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 this medicine 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.

This information is a summary only. It does not contain all information about Cyclophosphamide . If you have questions about the medicine you are taking or would like more information, check with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.

Issue Date: September 5, 2007
Database Edition
Copyright © 2007 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

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