Breast Cancer Home > Precautions and Warnings With Cyclophosphamide
Some warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to taking cyclophosphamide include:
- Cyclophosphamide (like many chemotherapy medications) can increase your risk of developing certain types of cancer in the future. Sometimes, it can take several years after taking cyclophosphamide for these cancers to develop. Your and your healthcare provider should weigh the benefits of cyclophosphamide with this risk.
- Cyclophosphamide can affect fertility in both men and women. These fertility problems may be irreversible.
- Cyclophosphamide can cause damage to the bladder. In order to prevent this, you may be asked to drink large quantities of water (to flush out the bladder). Also, medications can be given that help prevent bladder damage due to cyclophosphamide.
- Cyclophosphamide can decrease the bone marrow's ability to produce blood cells. This can result in anemia and other serious conditions. Because your immune system depends on certain blood cells, you may be more susceptible to infections while taking cyclophosphamide (see Chemotherapy and Infections). You may also be at a higher risk of bleeding (see Blood Clotting Problems and Chemotherapy). You will need regular blood tests to make sure your blood counts are not too low.
- Cyclophosphamide can interact with certain other medications (see Drug Interactions With Cyclophosphamide).
- Cyclophosphamide is considered a pregnancy Category D medication. This means that it is probably not safe for use during pregnancy. Talk with your healthcare provider about the risks and benefits of using the drug during pregnancy (see Cytoxan and Pregnancy).
- Cyclophosphamide passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start breastfeeding, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to taking the drug (see Cytoxan and Breastfeeding).