How does cyclophosphamide work?

The cyclophosphamide is used in many therapy malignancies such as lymphomas, non-Hodgkin’s , the multiple myeloma , the mycosis fungoides , the lymphoid leukemia and non-lymphoid as well as the Hodgkin’s disease , which for the immunosuppressive therapy (has no effect on B lymphocytes, NK cells, monocytes and macrophage precursors).

It is also used in the treatment of many solid tumors such as breast , ovarian , lung , Wilms tumor , rhabdomyosarcoma , neuroblastoma and sarcomas .

It can be prescribed in high dosage for the preparatory treatment for the transplantation of hematopoietic stem cells (the progenitor cells those of the blood).

How does cyclophosphamide work?

It is an antineoplastic (active against neoplasms) and cytostatic (i.e. capable of blocking the growth and division of cells, in particular neoplastic ones) of the group of nitrogen mustards, which is converted organically into an active alkylating metabolite with properties very similar to those of the mustina.

How is Cyclophosphamide taken?

It is administered – according to the various cases – orally, intravenously, intramuscularly, intrapleurally and intraperitoneally.

Side effects of cyclophosphamide

The side effects that can be associated with this medicine vary from person to person, also in relation to the dosage taken. In general, as in the case of many other antineoplastic drugs , the most commonly encountered side effects are:

  • temporary decrease in the production by the bone marrow of blood cells – red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets – which leads respectively to anemia and physical exhaustion;
  • infections;
  • bruising or bleeding;
  • retching and feeling sick ;
  • hair loss.

Among the less noticeable side effects we can indicate instead:

    • cystitis (cyclophosphamide can irritate the bladder);
    • temporary alteration of the appearance of the nails (they can darken or furrow);
    • conjunctivitis ;
    • temporary reduction of liver function;
    • pain or ulcers of the oral cavity;
    • diarrhea ;
    • skin reactions.

Contraindications and warnings on the use of cyclophosphamide

The intake of this medicine by women could cause amenorrhea (interruption of menstrual flow) and therefore the typical symptoms of the pre-menopausal age could occur: hot flashes, excess sweat and vaginal dryness .

In men , infertility may arise, which in a small percentage of people will be permanent; therefore, especially in young people, before starting the treatment, the opportunity to preserve the seed must be evaluated.

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