Cyclophosphamide is a nitrogen mustard-based agent that is used in veterinary medicine to treat certain types of cancers and tumors. While both dogs and cats can be treated with this medication, it is used predominantly in dogs.

Cyclophosphamide  — Additional Uses in Veterinary Medicine

Cyclophosphamide is also used to treat certain immune system disorders, such as rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease, but only when other treatments have failed to provide successful results. It is also used as part of a multiple-drug treatment program for treating lymphoma in dogs.

Pharmacology of Cyclophosphamide

Cyclophosphamide targets cancer cells and interferes with their DNA and other genetic factors to slow growth. Since they cannot grow as intended, it leaves them susceptible and eventually leads to the death of the cell.

Possible Side Effects and Drug Interactions

Cyclophosphamide is generally safe and effective for use in animals, but since it is a very powerful medication, some animals may experience certain side effects. Common potential side effects may include nausea, loss of appetite, bladder irritation, vomiting, diarrhea, and in some cases, bone marrow suppression.

This medication may interfere or interact with other medications, such as digoxin, allopurinol and phenobarbital. Inform the treating veterinarian of the animal’s complete drug regimen before beginning treatment with Cyclophosphamide.

Cyclophosphamide Precautions

Cyclophosphamide should not be administered to an animal patient with a known hypersensitivity or allergy to the drug. It should also be avoided in animals with serious active infections. This medication can be administered in certain cases where the patient has pre-existing kidney or liver problems or bone marrow problems, but extreme caution and careful monitoring should be used.

Cyclophosphamide Dosage and Administration

Cyclophosphamide can only be obtained with a prescription from a licensed veterinarian. The medication is available in an oral tablet form and as an injectable. It can also be compounded into oral capsule or suspension forms. The formulation, strength and frequency of administration are established according to the condition being treated and the size and weight of the animal, among a number of other factors.

Author: Giano Panzarella