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Childhood Nephrotic Syndrome - Are there any side effects from Cyclophosphamide?

Page 12

Cyclophosphamide cartoon

The course of treatment with Cyclophosphamide is usually 8-12 weeks and this will be discussed with you by the children’s kidney specialist before commencing the drug.

There are usually no serious or permanent side effects from Cyclophosphamide when given at the low doses used to treat Nephrotic Syndrome. However we have listed the side effects which may occur.

  1. Nausea and vomiting – anti sickness drugs can be given to reduce this.
  2. Thinning of the hair – this is usually only slight and the hair will regrow after the course of treatment.
  3. Strange taste – your child may experience a strange taste in their mouth while receiving cyclophosphamide. This is only temporary.
  4. Cyclophosphamide can affect the number of white cells in the blood which help to fight infection. Your child may therefore be more susceptible to catching infections. A weekly blood test will be done to check the white cells are not low and the dose of Cyclophosphamide will be altered if necessary.
  5. Future fertility – the short course of Cyclophosphamide that we now use should not have any long term effects on your child’s fertility. However, this point will be discussed fully with you by the specialist.

There are other less common side effects, these will be discussed with your doctor and may include:

  1. A slight increased risk of developing some forms of cancer, this is more likely with individuals taking higher or longer term doses
  2. Irritation of the bladder wall, which may lead to blood in the urine.
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Content compiled by members of the Children’s Renal & Urology Unit, QMC Campus, Nottingham University Hospitals.

The National Kidney Federation cannot accept responsibility for information provided. The above is for guidance only. Patients are advised to seek further information from their own doctor.

NKF Controlled Document No. 140: Are there any side effects from Cyclophosphamide? written: 10/09/2004 last reviewed: 14/11/2020