Cyclophosphamide

Examples

Generic Name Brand Name
cyclophosphamide Cytoxan

How It Works

Cyclophosphamide is an alkylating agent and is related to mustard gas. It causes cell death by interfering with the way genetic material (DNA) in the cell multiplies.

Cyclophosphamide is available as an intravenous (IV) medicine and as tablets for oral use in 25 mg and 50 mg. The type and extent of a disease and your body size determine the exact dose and schedule of administering this medicine.

Why It Is Used

Cyclophosphamide is used to treat many forms of cancer, including:

  • Breast cancer.
  • Leukemia.
  • Lung cancer.
  • Multiple myeloma.
  • Neuroblastoma.
  • Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.
  • Ovarian cancer.
  • Sarcoma.

Cyclophosphamide is also used to treat other diseases, such as:

  • Arthritis.
  • Lupus.
  • Myasthenia gravis.
  • Nephrotic syndrome.
  • Wegener's granulomatosis.

Cyclophosphamide is often used before a bone marrow transplant or after another type of transplant, such as a kidney or liver transplant.

How Well It Works

Cyclophosphamide treats many forms of cancer. It is usually combined with other chemotherapy medicines but may be used alone.

Side Effects

Side effects with cyclophosphamide may include:

  • Decreased white blood cell and platelet counts.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Hair loss.
  • Menstrual changes, early menopause, and decreased sperm count.
  • Blood in the urine because of irritation of the bladder. Be sure to drink at least 8 full glasses of fluid a day if you are being treated with cyclophosphamide.

See Drug Reference for a full list of side effects. (Drug Reference is not available in all systems.)

What To Think About

Cyclophosphamide should be given only under the supervision of a medical oncologist.

Cyclophosphamide can affect your ability to have children. You may not be able to become pregnant or father a child after taking cyclophosphamide. Discuss fertility with your doctor before starting treatment with this drug.

Cyclophosphamide can cause birth defects. Do not use this medicine if you are pregnant or wish to become pregnant or father a child while you are taking it.

Women who take this medicine may experience menopausal symptoms, including hot flashes and vaginal dryness.

Complete the new medication information form (PDF)new medication information form (PDF)(What is a PDF document?) to help you understand this medication.

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Douglas A. Stewart, MD - Medical Oncology
Last Revised June 28, 2013

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

© 1995-2013 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.

First Nurse

First Nurse

Call First Nurse 24 Hours a Day for free health care advice, resources and referrals!

Ames: 515-239-6877
In Iowa: 800-524-6877 

Search health information online in our Mulimedia Health Library.

High Quality Care

Guardian of Excellence

Mary Greeley consistently delivers high quality patient care.

  • 2013 Guardian of Excellence Award for Clinical Quality
  • Grade 'A' Patient Safety from the Leapfrog Group
  • 2013 Top Performer on Key Quality Measures ranking from The Joint Commission
  • Highest percentage bonus of any Iowa hospital in Medicare's quality incentive program

Mary Greeley on Facebook

Like us on Facebook

Patient Privacy | Net Learning for Employees | MGMC PACS for Physicians
Emergency Preparedness

1111 Duff Avenue Ames, IA 50010 - 515-239-2011 - yourhealth.mgmc@mgmc.com

©2014 Mary Greeley Medical Center - All rights reserved.