Cyclophosphamide (brand names Cytoxan, Neosar in the US, cytoxan or procytox in Canada) is a chemotherapy agent used in the treatment of Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) and other forms of cancer. For NHL it is more often than not given in conjunction with other chemotherapy agents in a multidrug regimen. This drug is an alkalyzing agent, disrupting cancer growth.
Before taking this medicine: Inform the doctor if you have had heart problems or lung disease. It should not be taken while pregnant and not while breast feeding without your doctors' advice. This drug can affect fertility - you may wish to discuss this with your doctor.
While taking this medicine: It is important to keep in close contact with the doctor who will monitor dosage and effects. If you have surgery or emergency treatment, tell the doctor/dentist you are taking or have taken this medication. Drinking of fluids, up to 2 liters (quarts) a day is encouraged to prevent urinary tract damage. Stay away from those who have infectious diseases - this drug lowers resistance to infection.
Short Term Side Effects: Common: nausea and vomiting (ask your doctor about drugs to counteract nausea), diarrhea, menstrual irregularity, alopecia (hair loss), fatigue, darkening of nails or skin; Less Common: check with your doctor if bruising or unusual bleeding occurs, cough/shortness of breath/breathing problems, fever, chills, sore throat.
Long Term Side Effects: hair loss (alopecia) during use - hair growth should return after treatment. This drug has been known to affect fertility.
Cyclophosphamide is the "C" in CHOP chemotherapy for NHL
Cyclophosphamide is also being studied for use in conjunction with the Zevalin® radiolabeled isotope therapy for certain types of NHL.
Patients who are looking for more advanced treatment or who have lymphoma that does not respond to standard treatment may want to consider a clinical study. Click here to find clinical trials in your area.
For more information on Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma, please see the following pages: