Greetings and question about cytoxan
Hello. I am a 22 year old professional diagnosed with lupus nine years ago. I currently work full time at a large tech company, work as a Mary Kay beauty consultant, and am also applying to law school.
My lupus has been controlled pretty well in past. Recently my doctors started me on Cellcept (500mg four times a day) which they say is a pretty decent dose for my size. (I'm 5'3" and weight about 100 lbs)
Doctors are now suggesting I start cytoxan treatments. I've heard about the side effects, hair loss, infertility, etc. but I'd like to know some of your personal experiences with it? Were you fatigued? Were you able to go on with your normal life? Was the hair loss severe and how did you cope with it? Please let me know what your experience was like and if/how it helped you.
Shuanhua; I have never been treated with cytoxan. However, here is some information about the drug, it's uses, side effects and precaustions:
Cytoxan etc. (Cyclophosphamide) is an immuno-suppressive (chemotherapy) drug that is usually given to treat different types of cancer. Cyclophosphamide blocks cell growth and also suppresses the immune system. Because of its frequent and sometimes life threatening side effects, cyclophosphamide for Lupus patients is usually only given for serious major organ disease. Cyclophosphamide can have many side effects, including hair loss, nausea, vomiting, infertility, lung scarring, and blood abnormalities.
Cytotoxic or immunosuppressive drugs suppress immune function. They can suppress any arm of the immune system, like T cells or B cells, they can suppress transplanted organ rejection, the making of antibodies, or the attack of certain cells, viruses or tumours. The use of cytotoxic drugs is called chemotherapy. What cytotoxics are used to treat lupus?
Cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan) - best used intravenously.
Chlorambucil (Leukeran) - much better tolerated than oral Cytoxan, long term use (more than 2 years) makes it a potent carcinogen.
Azathioprine (Imuran) - has modest effects on serious lupus, but has the advantage of reducing steroid requirements.
Methotrexate (Rheumatrex) - works within weeks, & is taken only once a week. Decreases joint inflammation, but can make lupus patients more sensitive to ultraviolet light. Has little effect on organ-threatening disease. Must be used carefully in patients with kidney impairment.
What symptoms of lupus can cytotoxics be used to treat?
Cytotoxics are very strong drugs, & usually only used to treat lupus when absolutely necessary. They are used on patients who have major organ involvement, severe muscle inflammation, or intractable arthritis.
What are the side effects of cytotoxics?
Cyclophosphamide - hair loss, nausea, vomiting, possible infertility, can result in the cessation of bone marrow function, resulting in anaemia, & low levels of white blood cells & platelets.
Chlorambucil - occasional skin rashes, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, bone marrow suppression(as with cyclophosphamide), increased production of fibrous tissue in the lungs is a rare but serious problem.
Azathioprine - skin rashes, diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting(occasionally), occasionally results in cessation of bone marrow function (as with cyclophosphamide).
Methotrexate - nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, anaemia, bone marrow suppression(as with cyclophosphamide), liver damage.
Cytotoxics kill or inhibit the action of the immune system. This can result in death of cells or the interruption of the synthesis of antibody. Certain cells of the immune system manufacture antibodies, so if we turn off the manufacture of the antibodies, the damage done to the body, as a result of immune complexes, ceases.
I hope that this information has been helpful. Let me know if you need anything further! :lol:
Peace and Blessings
I just had my first cytoxan IV treatment last Saturday. My doc said there is usually no hair loss (what dosage is your doc recommending? Mine prescribed 1000mg). I have felt a bit more tired but nothing major. The only problem I'm having is headaches for the past 7 weeks. My doc gave me Percocet to help and I only take it when absolutely necessary.
The treatment was by IV and she also gave me Zofran to help with nausea and Mesna? (don't know if that's how it's spelled) to counteract the possible bladder damage. Also have to drink lots of water so have to know where all the restrooms are wherever I go. My next treatment is on Aug 27 so will let you know how it goes after more than one treatment.
I had my first cytoxan therapy on 7/30 and my next is on Aug 27. Have no hair loss, no nausea and only have noticed more fatigue than usual. Am also having problems with swelling in my ankles and legs but that could be because of the prednisone that I'm also taking.
I think this is not going to be as detrimental as I had feared. Check with your dr. to see what he/she thinks will happen but I was pleasantly surprised! Let me know how it goes!
I too have taken my first cytoxan treatment on July 27th. I am taking it for nephritis. I have had no major side effects and hope it continues that way. How many more treatments do you have to take? I am suppose to take 6 m onthly treatments. My next treatment is August 26. I was glad to see that your dr. also told you that you should not have hair loss, I t hink my dosage is 1000 mg also. I'm going to check to make sure when I go back. Are you taking predsone too? How many Mg? I am taking 60 mg for 30 day and hopefull will have that dosage decreased when I go back on the 26th. Keep me posted on your treatment. Its good to hear from someone who is getting the same treatment. Good Luck!! I'll keep you in my prayers.
Originally Posted by catlady4520