Generic Name(s): cyclophosphamide
Drug Class: alkylating agents
Treats: cancers, nephrotic syndrome
Cytoxan is a prescription medication belonging to a class of drugs known as alkylating agents. Cytoxan is a brand name drug; the generic name for Cytoxan is cyclophosphamide. Cytoxan is used to treat a wide variety of cancers. Cytoxan works by altering the cell DNA of cancerous tumors and material.
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Cytoxan is used alone or with other medications to treat many different types of cancers. Some of the cancers treated by Cytoxan include Hodgkin's lymphoma (Hodgkin's disease), non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, cutaneous T-cell lymphoma, multiple myeloma, chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML), acute myeloid leukemia (AML, ANLL), acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), retinoblastoma, neuroblastoma, ovarian cancer, and breast cancer. Cytoxan can also be used to treat nephrotic syndrome in children, a disease of the kidneys. Cytoxan is in a class of medications called alkylating agents. Cytoxan treats cancer by slowing or stopping the growth of cancer cells. When Cytoxan is used to treat nephrotic syndrome, it works by suppressing the body's immune system.
Dosing of Cytoxan will vary amongst patients. The prescribing doctor's orders and directions on the label should always be followed when using Cytoxan. The amount of Cytoxan needed depends on the strength of the medication, the number of doses taken each day, the time between doses, the length of time taken, and the diagnosis of the patient.
- Usual dosage of Cytoxan for adults is 1-5 mg/kg/day.
- The usual dosage of Cytoxan for children with malignancies is 1-5 mg/kg/day.
- The usual dosage of Cytoxan for children with nephrotic syndrome is 2 mg/kg/day for a duration of 8-12 weeks. Cytoxan dosage should be titrated according to efficacy.
Cytoxan Side Effects
Along with its needed effects, Cytoxan may cause some unwanted effects. All, some, or none of the possible side effects may occur with the use of Cytoxan. A doctor should be consulted with any noted side effects during the use of Cytoxan. Commonly reported side effects with the use of Cytoxan include:
- loss of appetite or weight
- abdominal pain
- hair loss
- sores on the mouth or tongue
- changes in skin color
- poor or slow wound healing
- unusual bruising or bleeding
- black, tarry stools
- painful urination or red urine
- difficulty breathing or swallowing
- shortness of breath
- swelling in the legs, ankles, or feet
- chest pain
- yellowing of the skin or eyes
As with all medications, Cytoxan possesses the ability to interact when given at the same time as other medications. Drug coadministration should be carefully monitored at all times by a physician who can effectively determine the cost-benefit ratios for each patient. Because of Cytoxan's toxicity to the body, there is a high likelihood of multiple drug interactions. Interactions have been reported in patients taking Cytoxan at the same time as:
- bendamustine (Treanda)
- busulfan (Myerlan, Busulfex)
- carmustine (BiCNU, Gliadel, Wafer)
- chlorambucil (Leukeran)
- ifosfamide (Ifex)
- lomustine (CeeNU)
- melphalan (Alkeran)
- procarbazine (Mutalane)
- temozolomide (Temodar)
- allopurinol (Zyloprim)
- cortisone acetate
- doxorubicin (Adriamycin, Doxil)
- hydrocortisone (Cortef)
- phenobarbital (Luminal, Sodium)