Cyclophosphamide (brand name- Cytoxan) is an FDA-approved treatment used alone or in combination with other medications for Hodgkin’s lymphoma (Hodgkin’s disease) and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (types of cancer that begin in a type of white blood cells that normally fight infection) ovary, breast, eye, nerve, bone marrow, immune system, and white blood cells cancer. Cyclophosphamide is also used to treat nephrotic syndrome (a disease that is caused by damage to the kidneys) in children.
Cyclophosphamide is in a class of medications called alkylating agents. When cyclophosphamide is used to treat cancer, it works by slowing or stopping the growth of cancer cells in your body.
Let us walk you through the key things you need to know about Cyclophosphamide.
How should I take cyclophosphamide or Cytoxan?
Cyclophosphamide comes as an injection given into your vein, abdominal lining, the lining of the lung, or muscle by a Doctor in a medical facility. It also comes as a tablet taken through the mouth. Consult your Doctor for the best method for you. If you are prescribed cyclophosphamide tablets, take these at around the same time every day. Follow the directions on your prescription bottle carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand.
Take cyclophosphamide exactly as directed. Swallow the tablets whole; do not split, chew, or crush them. These should be taken with food or after meals. Do not take more or less of it or more often than your doctor prescribes.
Talk to your doctor about how you are feeling during your treatment. Do not stop taking Cyclophosphamide without talking to your doctor. You can help them by tracking your side effects in Ankr.
What are the side effects of cyclophosphamide or Cytoxan?
Common side effects
- loss of appetite or weight
- abdominal pain
- hair loss
- sores on the mouth or tongue
- changes in skin color
- changes in color or growth of finger or toe nails
- sore throat, fever, chills, or other signs of infection
- poor or slow wound healing
- yellowing of the skin or eyes
- swelling in the legs, ankles, or feet
Cyclophosphamide may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication. If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online or by phone (1-800-332-1088).
What special precautions should I follow?
Before taking cyclophosphamide or Cytoxan
- tell your doctor
- tell your doctor about other intakes
- tell your doctor if you have or have ever had any disease, symptom, or treatment in the past or now
While you are on cyclophosphamide or Cytoxan
- you should know that cyclophosphamide may interfere with the normal menstrual cycle (period) in women and may stop sperm production in men.
- talk to your doctor for a reliable method of birth control to prevent pregnancy. Cyclophosphamide may harm the fetus.
- if you are having dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking cyclophosphamide.
- tell your Doctor if you are breastfeeding. You should not breastfeed during treatment with cyclophosphamide.
I forgot a dose. What should I do?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
In case of an emergency/overdose
In case of overdose, call the poison control helpline at 1-800-222-1222. Information is also available online at https://www.poisonhelp.org/help. If the victim has collapsed, had a seizure, has trouble breathing, or can’t be awakened, immediately call emergency services at 911.
Symptoms of overdose may include the following:
- black, tarry stools
- red urine
- unusual bruising or bleeding
- unusual tiredness or weakness
- sore throat, cough, fever, or other signs of infection
- swelling in the legs, ankles, or feet
- chest pain
How should I safely store and dispose of cyclophosphamide?
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom).
To protect young children from poisoning, always lock safety caps and immediately place the medication in a safe location – one that is up and away and out of their sight and reach. http://www.upandaway.org
You should not flush this medication down the toilet. Instead, the best way to dispose of your medication is through a medicine take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage/recycling department to learn about take-back programs in your community. See the FDA’s Safe Disposal of Medicines website (http://goo.gl/c4Rm4p) for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Drink plenty of fluids while you are using this medication.
¶This branded product is no longer on the market. Generic alternatives may be available.
FDA updated – 08/15/2018, Last revised – 06/08/2023, SG
Get 24×7 support for cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan)
Don’t go through your cancer journey alone. Use Ankr to:
(1) find the best treatment for your cancer, and
(2) get advanced warning to cut side effects by upto 52%
Tell us how we can improve this post?