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CytoxanGeneric name: cyclophosphamide
Trade name: Cytoxan
Other names: Neosar
Cyclophosphamide is a chemotherapy drug used to treat some types of cancer, including breast cancer, lung cancer, and some lymphomas and leukaemias. It works by sticking to one of the cancer cell's DNA strands(the cell's genetic code) so the cell can't divide into 2 new cells. DNA is the genetic code in the nucleus of all animal and plant cells. It controls everything the cell does.
How you have treatment
You usually have cyclophosphamide as an injection into a vein. It also comes as tablets that you swallow, ideally on an empty stomach. You usually have chemotherapy as a course of several cycles of treatment. The treatment plan for cyclophosphamide depends on which cancer you are being treated for. There is more about planning chemotherapy in the main chemotherapy section of CancerHelp UK.
The side effects associated with cyclophosphamide are listed below. You can use the links (underlined) to find out more about each side effect. Where there is no link, look in our chemotherapy side effects section or use the search box at the top of the page.
Common side effects
Many people experience a temporary drop in the number of blood cells made by your bone marrow, leading to the following side effects
Other common side effects include
Occasional side effects
Some people have the following side effects:
Rare side effects
A very small number of people have these side effects
Important points to remember:
The side effects above may be mild or more severe. A side effect may get better or worse through your course of treatment, or more side effects may develop as the course goes on. This depends on:
Some side effects are inconvenient or upsetting but not damaging to your health. Some side effects are serious medical conditions and need treating. Where we have urged you to contact your doctor, this is because
Tell your doctor about any other medicines you are taking, including vitamins, herbal supplements and other over the counter remedies – some drugs can react together.
Talk to your doctor, pharmacist or nurse about all your side effects so that they can help you manage them. Your chemotherapy nurse, clinic or ward nurse will have given you a contact number. You can ring if you have any questions or problems. They can give you advice or reassure you. If in doubt, call them.
Immunisations and chemotherapy
You should not have immunisations with live vaccines while you are having chemotherapy or for at least 6 months afterwards. In the UK, these include rubella, mumps, measles (usually given together as MMR), BCG and yellow fever. You can have other vaccines, but they may not give you as much protection as usual until your immune system has fully recovered from your chemotherapy.
It is perfectly safe for you to be in contact with other people who've had live vaccines as injections. There can be problems with oral vaccines, but no one in the UK is given an oral vaccine now. So there is no problem in being with any baby or child who has recently had any vaccination in the UK. If you live abroad, you might need to make sure that you aren't in contact with anyone who has had oral polio or oral typhoid vaccination recently.
|Last Updated on Thursday, 21 January 2010 08:49|