Brand name: Cytoxan®
Cyclophosphamide is a chemotherapy in the "alkylator" group of chemotherapy drugs that may stop cancer cells from growing by interfering with the cells’ DNA (the genetic material in cells). It is used in the treatment of many cancers including breast cancer and lymphomas, as well as in the treatment of autoimmune diseases like systemic lupus erythematosis. While larger doses of cyclophosphamide can be administered intravenously, smaller doses may be safely administered by the patient, daily at home, in pill form. Mild nausea or vomiting can occur, and bladder irritation in the form of burning on urination or blood in the urine can occur while taking the medication. A temporary decrease in blood cell counts can occur. In women, menstrual periods can become irregular or stop and fertility may be decreased. In men, sperm production and fertility may be reduced. Temporary thinning or loss of hair is possible. With chronic use of cyclophosphamide, bone marrow damage may occur, which may lead to the development of acute leukemia. Bladder cancer has also been reported in patients who have taken the drug for prolonged periods of time (daily for years).
Patients taking the pill form of Cytoxan are advised to do the following:
* Take this medicine in the morning.
* Drink at least two quarts of fluid a day
*Urinate every three to four hours and before bedtime while you are taking Cytoxan and for 24 hours after treatment.