Cytoxan or generic Cyclophosphamide is a chemotherapy drug prescribed to treat many types of cancers, including Hodgkin’s/non-Hodgkin’s disease, multiple myeloma, neuroblastoma, t-cell lymphoma, and breast/testicular/ovarian/endometrial/ and lung cancers. The generic alternative is not manufactured by the company that makes the brand product.
This is a cell-cycle non-specific chemo drug, which means that Cytoxan works during the resting phase of the cells so your treatment will be scheduled to coincide with the cancer cell’s phases of resting and giving your body a break in the schedule during the dividing phase so you can rest and regain your strength. Your doctor may also prescribe an anti-emetic medication to help with nausea or vomiting that most anti-cancer drugs can cause.
Cytoxan is called a prodrug, meaning it is inactive until it reaches your liver. Here it is converted to an alkylating agent with chemotherapeutic actions. When taken as directed and the conversion takes place, Cytoxan causes damage to DNA in order to prevent the cancer cells from being able to reproduce as cell division has been stopped. This is not a cure for cancer, but it can help to shrink tumors and reduce the risk of early-stage breast cancer from returning. Cytoxan is usually prescribed to be taken with other anti-cancer drugs.
Cancer cells are like rogue cells that decide they no longer have to take orders from normal cells. They begin within your tissues and deviate from normalcy as they grow and divide. Normal cells signal controlled cell growth and death, but cancer cells ignore these signals and begin dividing more rapidly than their creators and can even dodge programmed cell death (apoptosis) that occurs in normal cells that possess abnormalities.
Anti-cancer drugs are not able to distinguish between normal cells and cancer cells, so both are attacked. Your normal cells are able to grow back and be healthy but there are side effects as the blood cells, hair follicles, and the cells in your mouth, bowel, and stomach are the most affected by chemo drugs due to their rapid cell growth that is affected by anti-cancer meds. This is the reason for hair loss , mouth sores, and nausea with vomiting.
Your doctor should be aware of any pregnancy, planned pregnancy, or if you are breast feeding in case there are risks for the unborn or nursing baby. Inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you have and list all OTC and Rx drugs you currently take or use, including herbal remedies and dietary or vitamin supplements. This will help to determine if any medications need to be changed or substituted while taking Cytoxan.
Avoid any activities that could result in an injury as you may bleed more easily while taking Cytoxan. Your immune system may not be able to protect from infections so do not socialize or spend time in areas where there are crowds and a risk of colds or flu. Cytoxan may affect fertility and menstrual cycle. Men taking Cytoxan should use reliable protection to avoid getting your sexual partner or spouse pregnant.