Cyclophosphamide is used on its own or together with other medicines to treat certain types of cancer.
This medicine may also be used to treat other conditions as decided by your doctor.
Cyclophosphamide is to be given intravenously (into the vein) via a drip. It is delivered directly into the bloodstream via the blood vessel.
Your doctor or nurse will administer this medicine for you.
The dose of this medicine will be decided by your doctor. Your doctor will advise you on the course of your treatment depending on your condition, effectiveness of the therapy, and your tolerability to this medicine.
Ensure that you keep all appointments with your doctor so that you do not miss any doses. Your doctor also needs to regularly monitor your response to Cyclophosphamide.
If you miss an appointment or miss an injection, alert your doctor or nurse. A replacement appointment or injection should be given as soon as possible.
Alert your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- blood disorder such as low platelet, red or white blood cell count
- bladder problems such as difficulty in passing urine
- active infection
as Cyclophosphamide may not be suitable for you.
Alert your doctor if you are pregnant. Do not take this medicine if you are pregnant or planning to have a baby soon. If you become pregnant while on Cyclophosphamide, alert your doctor immediately. This medicine may cause harm to your unborn child. Both men and women must use proven birth control methods while being treated with Cyclophosphamide. You may wish to discuss birth control methods with your doctor.
Inform your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- heart disease
- kidney disease
- liver disease
Inform your doctor if you have been recently vaccinated. Do not receive any vaccinations without first asking your doctor.
If you underwent radiation therapy or are going for a surgery, inform your doctor that you are using this medicine.
For as long as you are on Cyclophosphamide therapy, you may need to have regular blood tests to check your body’s response to this medicine. Monitoring of your heart, lung, kidney and liver for any signs and symptoms of toxicity may also be needed. Your doctor will advise you about how often you need to have these tests.
Cyclophosphamide may cause dizziness or blurred vision. If affected, do not drive or take part in any activity in which you need to be alert or to see clearly.
Other side effects may include any of the following: weakness, fever, chills, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, stomach pain, loss of appetite, hair loss, rashes, skin or nail discolouration, prolonged wound healing, absence of menstrual periods, low sperm count and sterility.
Some side effects may need immediate medical help. Alert your doctor quickly if you experience any of the following:
- rashes, breathlessness, swollen mouth or eyes
- chest pain, irregular heartbeat
- pain or difficulty in passing urine, blood in urine
- signs and symptoms of liver problems e.g. yellowing of the skin or eyes, stomach pain, tiredness, nausea or vomiting
This medicine will cause the level of your red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets to drop.
Red blood cells carry oxygen around your body. A fall in the level of red blood cells may make you feel tired and worn out.
White blood cells help your body to fight infections. A fall in the level of your white blood cells may put you at higher risk for infections, such as coughs, colds and flu, which may lead to more serious infections. Avoid crowded places and people who are sick. Alert your doctor if you have a fever, or a cough or flu that does not go away.
Platelets help your blood to clot when there is a cut in the skin. A fall in the level of your platelets may put you at risk of bleeding more than usual. Do not take part in activities where you may fall or get injured, such as contact sports. Alert your doctor if you get any unusual bruising (large bruises or several bruises, especially if the bruises appeared on their own) or bleeding that takes a long time to stop (for example, too much bleeding when you floss or brush your teeth).
Inform your doctor if any of these side effects do not go away or are severe, or if you experience other side effects.
Inform your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking any of these medicines:
- other medicines used to treat cancer e.g. busulfan, doxorubicin
- muscle relaxants e.g. suxamethonium
- blood-thinning medicines e.g. warfarin
- medicines to treat fungal infections e.g. fluconazole, itraconazole
- medicines for gout e.g. allopurinol
- medicines for pain and inflammation e.g. indometacin
- medicines for epilepsy (fits or seizures) e.g. phenytoin
- medicines used in organ transplant or certain immune disorders e.g. ciclosporin
This list does not include all medicines that may interact with Cyclophosphamide.
Always notify your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including herbal tonics such as traditional Chinese medicines, supplements and medicines that you buy without a prescription.
Avoid excessive consumption (more than 1 litre a day) of grapefruit juice.
Store in a cool, dry place away from the reach of children.
Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.
As this is a cancer medicine, always return any unused or expired medicine to the clinic, hospital or pharmacy for disposal. Do not throw it away in the household waste.