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Cancer Treatment Centers of America

Cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan®)


Brand Names: Cytoxan®, CTX, Neosar

Cyclophosphamide is used to treat Hodgkin lymphoma, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, multiple myeloma, and certain types of leukemia. It is also used to treat retinoblastoma, neuroblastoma, and ovarian cancer. Less commonly, cyclophosphamide is used to treat small cell lung cancer, pediatric rhabdomyosarcoma, and pediatric Ewing’s sarcoma.

An alkylating agent, cyclophosphamide works by stopping or slowing the growth of cancer cells.

Cyclophosphamide comes as a tablet that is taken by mouth once daily. The duration of treatment depends on the type of cancer and how well the drug is tolerated. The tablet should be taken at around the same time each day.

Cyclophosphamide side effects

To prevent problematic interactions between cyclophosphamide and other drugs, be sure to tell your doctor if you are allergic to any medications, and what other medications and supplements you are currently taking. You should also inform your doctor if you have or ever had a liver or kidney disease, if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, or if you are breastfeeding. If you undergo surgery and/or dental work during treatment, be sure to tell your doctor and/or that you are taking cyclophosphamide.

Possible side effects may include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Weight loss
  • Mouth or tongue sores
  • Changes in skin color
  • Changes in color or growth of fingernails and toenails

Some of cyclophosphamide’s side effects can be serious. Call your doctor immediately if you experience any of these symptoms:

  • Sore throat, fever, chills, or other signs of infection
  • Poor or slow wound healing
  • Unusual bruising or bleeding
  • Black, tarry stools
  • Painful urination
  • Hives, rash, itching
  • Difficulty breathing or swallowing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Swelling in the legs, ankles or feet
  • Chest pain
  • Yellowing of the skin or eyes

Please note that this is not a comprehensive list. Patients may experience additional effects not mentioned above.

At Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA), your team of cancer experts will explain each of the side effects of cyclophosphamide with you in detail, as well as the side effects and expectations of all other medications planned as part of your individualized treatment.

Cyclophosphamide for cancer treatment

Cyclophosphamide is a chemotherapy drug used to treat various types of cancer. It is approved by the FDA for the following:

  • Malignant lymphomas, Hodgkin lymphoma, and some types of non-Hodkin lymphoma: lymphocytic lymphoma, mixed-cell type lymphoma, histiocytic lymphoma, Burkitt’s lymphoma
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Leukemias: chronic lymphocytic leukemia, chronic granulocytic leukemia, acute myelogenous and monocytic leukemia, acute lymphoblastic leukemia in children
  • Mycosis fungoides
  • Neuroblastoma
  • Adenocarcinoma of the ovary
  • Retinoblastoma
  • Carcinoma of the breast

Although cyclophosphamide may be effective on its own, it is more commonly used in combination with other anticancer drugs.

At CTCA, our integrative approach to cancer treatment works to fight your disease on all fronts and ensures that you remain at the center of everything we do. We encourage participation from both you and your family to make certain you are comfortable with all decisions made regarding your treatment.

The information provided here is for educational purposes only. In no way should it be considered as offering medical advice. Cancer Treatment Centers of America assumes no responsibility for how this material is used. Please check with a physician if you suspect you are ill. Also note that while Cancer Treatment Centers of America frequently updates its contents, medical information changes rapidly. Therefore, some information may be out of date.