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Cytoxan (Cyclophosphamide, Neosar )

Warnings: There are many side effects that are associated with Cytoxan, all of which you should report to your doctor. Although Cytoxan is usually used as a cancer medication, it can also increase your chances of developing other cancers. You should not plan on getting pregnant while on this medication, because it may harm the fetus. You may also lose fertility over extended use of Cytoxan.  

 

Indications: This medication is most commonly recommended in cancer treatment. It is used to treat different types of leukemia, lymphoma, and various types of cancers affecting bones, blood, and nerves. However, it can be used to treat other types of cancers and some other diseases as well. One of the non-cancerous diseases that Cytoxan is most commonly used to treat is neuphrotic syndrome, a group of symptoms often characterized by presence of protein in the urine, low blood protein levels, high cholesterol levels, high triglyceride levels, and swelling.

Cytoxan works to slow, and sometimes stop the growth of cancerous cells, and other fast-growing cells such as those in your immune system, which makes it useful in treating neuphrotic syndrome. Cytoxan can also be used under doctor’s supervision to treat some other non-cancerous diseases, but should be used carefully.

Most common malignancies that Cytoxan is used to treat include: 

  • breast cancer
  • testicular cancer
  • endometrial cancer
  • ovarian cancer
  • lung cancers
  • Ewing's sarcoma
  • multiple myeloma
  • mycosis fungoides
  • neuroblastoma..................................
  • retinoblastoma
  • rhabdomyosarcoma
  • retinoblastoma
  • Lymphomas: Hodgkin’s lymphomas and non-Hodgkin's lymphomas
  • Leukemias: chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), chronic myelocytic leukemia (CML), acute myelocytic leukemia (AML), acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL)

Dosage:  Cytoxan can be taken by mouth in tablet form or by injection into a vein. But the medication is almost always comes as a tablet, and you may be prescribed a long-term treatment of the medication, or only a small amount, depending on what you are trying to treat and various others factors. You will take one tablet every day, preferably at the same time every day. You should never take more or less than what is prescribed, and if you miss a dose, you should only take your missed dose if your next dose will not be taken soon, and should never double a dose. You should also never quit taking this medication without talking to a doctor, even if you are experiencing side effects.

The injection of Cytoxan is done in a hospital or a medical facility equipped for its preparation. The drug must be prepared and administered by specialists in oncology or hematology, or nurses who have experience in administering chemotherapy drugs.  

It is important that you drink plenty of fluids during the treatment. Drink at least 8 ounce glasses of fluid every day to help you urinate frequently; this prevents the drug from damaging your kidneys and other organs in your body. 

Storage: As recommended for all drugs, Keep Cytoxan out of children reach. Store the medication at room temperature below 25 degrees Celsius (77 degrees Fahrenheit), and strictly away from temperatures exceeding 30 degrees Celsius. Always store Cytoxan away from moisture and heat. Discard any unused doses after the expiration date. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of the medication. 

Overdose:  when  Cytoxan is taken by injection in hospital, the administration is done by professionals which reduce or eliminate the of overdose. When the drug is taken by mouth chance of overdose increases; either voluntary or involuntary, it may happen that some patients take higher dose. Cytoxan overdose can cause severe and even fatal health problems. An accidental overdose in elderly and especially among young children can lead to death.  If you think you have taken an overdose of Cytoxan, contact a poison control center or go to an emergency as soon as possible.     

Missing dose:  If you are recommended to take Cytoxan by mouth in tablet form, you can easily forget to take it. If you forgot to take the drug for less than 12 hours, take the usual dose. Beyond 12 hours, it is better to wait for the next dose to continue taking the medication as usual; do not double. 

Contraindication:  There are few contraindications associated with Cytoxan, as most patients who are prescribed this medication are usually in poor health to begin with, but you should be sure to talk to your doctor about your past your health issues and your current health before starting any medication.

Cytoxan  should be used with precautionin in the following conditions: 

  • allergic to cyclophosphamide or any of its ingredients   
  • pregnancy or breastfeeding   
  • reduced white blood cell count   
  • low platelet count (thrombocytopenia)   
  • chronic liver dysfunction 
  • Chronic kidney dysfunction. 

Interactions: Cytoxan reacts with many medications, including a variety of other cancer and cancer-related medications (allopurinol, cortisone acetate, and doxorubicin, for example), a seizure medication (phenobarbital), and over the counter drugs (such as hydrocortisone). You should be sure to tell your doctor about every medication and supplement, whether prescription or over-the-counter, that you are currently taking or are planning to take. This will help your doctor to determine which medications are safe for you to take.

Cytoxan may interact with certain substances; talk to your doctor before taking these products: 

 

  • vaccins
  • acetaminophen
  • aspirin
  • ibuprofen
  • ketoprofen
  • naproxen
  • doxorubicin
  • etanercept
  • St. John's wort
  • Phenobarbital
  • succinylcholine chloride
  • trastuzumab
  • Pain Killers
  • anti anemia drugs such as filgrastim and pegfilgrastim 

Side effects: Besides  attacking cancer cells, Cytoxan also damages healthy cells that multiply rapidly in the body, which can cause various adverse effects in some patients. Some Cytoxan side effects include: 

  • fatigue
  • hair loss
  • dizziness
  • nausea and vomiting
  • mouth sores
  • darkened and thickened skin
  • blistering skin or acne
  • decreased appetite
  • weight loss
  • Absence of menstrual bleeding (amenorrhea)

If the side effects above become severe or persist for long, contact your oncologist. In addition, contact your doctor immediately if you experience any of these symptoms:  

  • sore throat  
  • shortness of breath or difficulty breathing  
  • unusual bruising or bleeding
  • swelling of the feet or ankles  
  • Painful urination  
  • Bloody or red urine