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Generic Name:

cyclophosphamide, Injectable solution

All Brands

  • Cytoxan (Discontinued)
  • Neosar (Discontinued)
A discontinued drug is a drug that has been taken off the market due to safety issues, shortage of raw materials, or low market demand.
SECTION 1 of 5

Highlights for cyclophosphamide

Injectable solution
1

Cyclophosphamide is an injected drug that’s used to treat cancer. It’s used to treat many types of cancer.

2

Cyclophosphamide belongs to a class of drugs called alkylating agents. It works by stopping or slowing the growth or spread of certain cancer cells.

3

This drug may be given alone or in combination with other medications to treat your cancer.

4

A healthcare provider will give you this medication in a needle through your vein. You’ll receive your infusion at your doctor’s office or hospital. You won’t take this drug at home.

5

Common side effects include infections, nausea and vomiting, decreased appetite, stomach pain, or diarrhea. They also include mouth sores, hair loss, skin rash, fever without an infection, or changes in the color of your skin or nails.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

Infections

Cyclophosphamide weakens your immune system. This may make it easier for you to get serious or even fatal infections. It also makes it harder for your body to fight off an infection. Try to stay away from people who are sick or have recently been sick. Tell your doctor about recent infections you’ve had, and let them know if you have signs of an infection, including:

  • fever
  • chills
  • body aches

Blood in the urine

When cyclophosphamide is broken down by your body, it creates substances that irritate your kidneys and bladder. These substances can cause your kidneys or bladder to bleed. If you have blood in your urine and bladder pain, tell your doctor. This may be a sign of a condition called hemorrhagic cystitis. To help prevent this from happening, drink more fluids.

Infertility

Cyclophosphamide can cause infertility in both males and females. It interferes with the development of a woman’s eggs and a man’s sperm cells. This drug can also harm an unborn baby if you take it during pregnancy. It may cause birth defects, miscarriage, fetal growth problems, and toxic effects in a newborn. Avoid trying to conceive or becoming pregnant while taking this drug. Be sure to use effective birth control during treatment and for up to 1 year after you stop taking this drug.

What is cyclophosphamide?

Cyclophosphamide is a prescription drug. It is available in these forms: intravenous (IV) solution, which is only given by a healthcare provider.

This drug may be used as part of a combination therapy. This means you need to take it with other drugs.

Why it's used

Cyclophosphamide is an injected drug that’s used to treat cancer.

More Details

How it works

Cyclophosphamide belongs to a class of drugs called alkylating agents.

More Details

Why it's used

Cyclophosphamide is an injected drug that’s used to treat cancer. It’s used to treat many types of cancer, including:

  • breast cancer
  • Hodgkin's lymphoma and non­-Hodgkin's lymphoma (cancer that begins in the white blood cells)
  • cutaneous T-­cell lymphoma (cancers of the immune system)
  • multiple myeloma (bone marrow cancer)
  • leukemia (blood cancer)
  • retinoblastoma (cancer in the eye)
  • neuroblastoma (cancer that begins in nerve cells)
  • ovarian cancer

How it works

Cyclophosphamide belongs to a class of drugs called alkylating agents. A class of drugs refers to medications that work similarly. They have a similar chemical structure and are often used to treat similar conditions.

It works by stopping or slowing the growth or spread of certain cancer cells.

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SECTION 2 of 5

cyclophosphamide Side Effects

Injectable solution

Most Common Side Effects

The most common side effects that occur with cyclophosphamide include:

  • infection. Symptoms can include:

    • fever
    • chills
    • body aches
  • nausea and vomiting

  • decreased appetite

  • stomach pain

  • diarrhea

  • mouth sores

  • hair loss

  • skin rash

  • changes in the color of your skin

  • changes in the color of your nails

If these effects are mild, they may go away within a few days or a couple of weeks. If they’re more severe or don’t go away, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Serious Side Effects

If you experience any of these serious side effects, call your doctor right away. If your symptoms are potentially life threatening, or if you think you’re experiencing a medical emergency, call 9-1-1.

  • infections. Symptoms can include:

    • fever
    • chills
    • body aches
  • hemorrhagic cystitis and kidney toxicity. Symptoms can include:

    • blood in your urine
    • bladder pain
  • heart problems. Symptoms can include:

    • shortness of breath
    • chest pain
    • fast or slow heart rate, or irregular heartbeat
  • lung problems. Symptoms can include:

    • shortness of breath
  • liver disease. Symptoms can include:

    • yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes
    • pale or clay-colored stool
    • dark-colored urine
    • stomach pain and swelling
  • infertility

  • cuts and sores that don't heal

  • a condition that makes it harder for your body to release water (syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone or SIADH). Symptoms can include:

    • irritability and restlessness
    • loss of appetite
    • muscle cramps
    • nausea and vomiting
    • muscle weakness
    • confusion
    • hallucinations
    • seizures
    • coma
Pharmacist's Advice
Clinical Associate Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy

Cyclophosphamide often causes nausea, vomiting, and loss of appetite. This can lead to dizziness, blurred vision, and trouble seeing, which could affect your ability to drive or use machines.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible side effects. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always discuss possible side effects with a healthcare provider who knows your medical history.
SECTION 3 of 5

cyclophosphamide May Interact with Other Medications

Injectable solution

Cyclophosphamide can interact with other medications, herbs, or vitamins you might be taking. Your healthcare provider will look out for interactions with your current medications. Always be sure to tell your doctor about all medications, herbs or vitamins you’re taking.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs interact differently in each person, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible interactions. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always speak with your healthcare provider about possible interactions with all prescription drugs, vitamins, herbs and supplements, and over-the-counter drugs that you are taking.
Cyclophosphamide warnings
kidney disease
People with kidney disease

If you have severe kidney disease, cyclophosphamide may build up in your body causing toxicity. Your doctor should monitor your kidney function while you take this drug and adjust your dose if needed.

liver disease
People with liver disease

This drug is processed by your liver. If you have liver disease, your body may not be able to process this drug as well. As a result, you may be at greater risk of side effects.

urinary obstruction
People with urinary outflow obstruction

People with urinary outflow obstruction shouldn’t use this drug. By-products of this drug can build up in your urinary system. This can cause dangerous effects.

pregnant women
Pregnant women

Cyclophosphamide is a category D pregnancy drug. That means two things:

  1. Studies show a risk of adverse effects to the fetus when the mother takes the drug.
  2. The benefits of taking the drug during pregnancy may outweigh the potential risks in certain cases.

This drug can harm an unborn baby. You shouldn’t become pregnant while taking this drug. Be sure to use effective birth control during treatment and for up to 1 year after you stop taking this drug.

Tell your doctor if you’re pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Cyclophosphamide should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.

breastfeeding
Women who are breast-feeding

Cyclophosphamide passes into breastmilk and can cause serious effects in a child who is breastfed.

You and your doctor may need to decide if you’ll take cyclophosphamide or breastfeed.

for seniors
For seniors

As you age, your organs (such as your liver, kidneys, or heart) may not work as well as they did when you were younger. More of this drug may stay in your body and put you at risk for severe side effects.

for children
For children

Children who receive cyclophosphamide have a higher risk for:

  • developing normal secondary sexual characteristics if they haven’t reached puberty yet (such as growth of the genitals or breasts, and growth of pubic hair)
  • infertility
  • ovarian fibrosis or menopause in girls who haven’t reached puberty yet
  • low sperm counts, immobile sperm, or smaller testes in boys who haven’t gone through puberty yet

These conditions may be reversible in some people, but it may not happen for several years after stopping cyclophosphamide.

allergies
Allergies

Cyclophosphamide can cause a severe allergic reaction. Symptoms include:

  • hives
  • swelling of the face or throat
  • wheezing
  • lightheadedness
  • vomiting
  • shock

Don’t take this drug again if you’ve ever had an allergic reaction to this drug or other alkylating agents. Taking it a second time after an allergic reaction could be fatal.

SECTION 4 of 5

How to Take cyclophosphamide (Dosage)

Injectable solution

Your doctor will determine a dose that’s right for you based on your individual needs. Your general health may affect your dose. Tell your doctor about all health conditions you have before your doctor or nurse administers the drug to you.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this list includes all possible dosages. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always to speak with your doctor or pharmacist about dosages that are right for you.
Pharmacist's Advice
Clinical Associate Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy

Cyclophosphamide comes with serious risks if you don’t take it as prescribed.

If you stop taking the drug suddenly or don't take it at all

If you don’t receive your infusion, your cancer may not be treated or cured, or it may reoccur. Cyclophosphamide is used in combination with other chemotherapy drugs to kill cancer cells in your body. Receiving your dose on schedule helps cure, treat, or prevent your cancer from reoccurring or spreading to other parts of your body.

If you miss doses or don't take it on schedule

Your medication may not work as well or may stop working completely. For this drug to work well, a certain amount needs to be in your body at all times.

If you skip or miss doses/appointments

If you miss a dose or appointment, call your doctor right away to find out what to do.

If you take too much

You will be at higher risk for side effects such as heart failure, infection, and lower blood cell counts. Symptoms include trouble breathing, swelling in your legs, irregular heartbeat, fever, chills, and body aches. If you have these symptoms, go to the nearest emergency room right away.

How to tell the drug is working

Your doctor will do blood tests and scans to see how you’re responding to this treatment. This will tell you if the drug is working.

Cyclophosphamide can be a short-term or long-term drug treatment.

Some chemotherapy regimens are given as a set number of cycles given over a set period of time. Others regimens are given for as long as they’re effective against your cancer.

Cyclophosphamide is typically given in divided doses over a period of 2–5 days.

It’s sometimes given two times per week or every 7–10 days. Your doctor will decide a dosing schedule that’s right for you. It’s important to stick to that schedule.

How long does it take?

How long it takes to receive this drug will depend on the type of cancer that you have, other drugs that you’re taking, and how well your body responds to treatment.

Can I drive home after?

You may need a ride home or help leaving the doctor’s office. This drug may cause dizziness, blurred vision, and trouble seeing. This could affect your ability to drive.

Travel

Cyclophosphamide should only be given by a healthcare provider who knows your medical history and is experienced with chemotherapy. It should also be given at a location with medical support to manage severe infusion reactions.

Before you travel, talk to your doctor. You may need to plan your travel around your infusion schedule.

Your doctor will do additional tests

Your doctor will likely do many tests while you’re receiving treatment with cyclophosphamide, including:

  • kidney function
  • liver function
  • red and white blood cell counts
  • urine tests

Your diet

To prevent kidney and bladder problems, you should drink extra fluids and urinate more often while you’re taking cyclophosphamide. This drug is removed from your body by your kidneys. It can cause serious irritation if too much builds up in your bladder. You may have to drink up to 3 quarts (12 cups) of fluids each day.

SECTION 5 of 5

How Much Does cyclophosphamide Cost?

Injectable solution

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Lowest price for cyclophosphamide

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These prices represent the lowest priced national pharmacies for cyclophosphamide on GoodRx. They may be lower than your insurance.

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Content developed in collaboration with University of Illinois-Chicago, Drug Information Group

Medically reviewed by Creighton University, Center for Drug Information and Evidence-Based Practice on May 20, 2016

Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up-to-date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or other healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.
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