Generic Name: CYCLOPHOSPHAMIDE
Pronunciation: (sye kloe foss' fa mide)
Trade Name(s): Cyclomet, Cyclophosphamide, Cycloxan, Cycram, Endoxan-asta, Ledoxan
Why it is prescribed: Your doctor has ordered the drug cyclophosphamide to help treat your illness. Tablets are generally given for low-dose therapy; take them with food or milk. Cyclophosphamide may also be given by injection into a vein. Cyclophosphamide slows or stops the growth of cancer cells in your body. In addition to cyclophosphamide, your doctor may have ordered other cancer-fighting drugs; this treatment is called combination therapy. Your doctor may measure the effectiveness of your treatment using laboratory tests and physical examinations. In general, the length of treatment depends on the types of drugs you are taing, how well your body responds to them, and the type of cancer you have.
When it is to be taken: It is available in the form of pink tablets of 25 mg and 50 mg. It can also be given as an injection. It is important to take your tablets at the right time. You must take them as directed by your doctor. Do not take a double dose.
How it should be taken: The purpose of chemotherapy is to control your illness so that your own body can aid in your recovery. It is important to build up your body's defense system, and a balanced diet is needed to build a healthy body. Ask your doctor for advice on your diet.
1. Your doctor may order tests before, during, and after your treatment to see if your blood cells are affected by drug.
2. It is especially important to prevent infection and injuries.
3. Avoid people with contagious diseases such as the flu.
4. Keep all cuts and scratches clean.
5. Maintain good personal hygiene, including hand washing and mouth care.
6. To avoid injuries, shave with an electric razor instead of blades and wear protective clothing.
7. Do not take any medications, especially those containing aspirin, without your doctor's advice.
8. Avoid drinking alcoholic beverages. You may lose your appetite, or your appetite may be greater in the morning or at different times during the day than usual.
9. Take advantage of these times and eat. Frequent small meals or snacks throughout the day may be easier to tolerate and will help you get the nutrients your body needs.
1. Although not everyone experiences side effects during chemotherapy, some people do. If any of the effects becomes intolerable, let your doctor know.
2. The most common side effect of cyclohosphamide is a decrease in the number of blood cells. These cells include white blood cells that fight infection, red blood cells that carry oxygen and energy, and platelets that help clot blood and promote healing.
3. You may also experience nausea and vomiting. Your doctor may have ordered anti-nausea medications to prevent you from feeling sick.
4. Cyclophosphamide may make the lining of your mouth and throat more susceptible to irritation than usual.
5. Cyclophosphamide may also affect your skin. If you develop a rash, your doctor may prescribe a cream or ointment.
6. Your skin may darken and thicken in patches, especially on the palms of your hands, on the soles of your feet.
7. Blistering of the skin or acne also may occur; it is important to keep these areas clean an free from infection. If the blisetrs are painful, your doctor may prescribe creams, ointments, and pain medications.
8. Women frequently notice a weight gain while taking cyclophosphamide. Consult your doctor about a diet that is good for you.
9. Cyclophosphamide may interfere with or stop the normal menstrual cycle in women and can stop sperm production in men.
1. Avoid eating favorite foods, large meals, and spicy or hot foods when you feel nauseated.
2. It is important to take regular care of your mouth. Brush with a soft-bristle toothbrush or cotton swab. Avoid mouthwashes that contain alcohol or lots of salt because they can irritate your mouth. If your mouth becomes dry, eat moist foods, drink plenty of fluids, and suck on sugarless hard candy.
3. Avoid drinking alcoholic beverages and citrus juices.
4. Scalp and body hair may be affected by cyclophosphamide. Your hair may become thinned or brittle and may fall out. This problem may begin about two weeks after the start of treatment, but new growth usually occurs within a few months. The use of scarves, wigs and hairpieces may help you feel better about yourself during this temporary condition.
5. While being treated with cyclophosphamide, a drink plenty of fluids because the drug can irritate your kidneys and bladder. Drink about 10 glasses of fluid and urinate frequently during the first 24 hours after treatment to keep your kidneys working well. This precaution is especially important if you have had chemotherapy before.
6. Let your doctor know if you have difficulty, pain, or bleeding during urination.
7. You should not assume that you cannot get pregnant just because you are on chemotherapy.
8. You should not plan to have children while receiving chemotherapy or for a while after treatments.
9. Use a reliable method of birth control to prevent pregnancy.
1. Keep the tablets in a safe place where children cannot reach them, as these tablets could harm them.
2. Do not flush the tablets down the toilet or throw them away.