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What is it?

Cyclophosphamide is a type of disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drug (DMARD). It dampens down the immune system, rather than simply treating symptoms.

It's used to treat lupus (SLE),  vasculitis,  myositis and, occasionally, severe rheumatoid arthritis.

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How do I take it and how long does it take to work?

Cyclophosphamide can be given as tablets or through a drip into a vein. It may take six weeks or more before you feel the benefits.

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What are the possible risks and side-effects of cyclophosphamide?

A common side-effect of cyclophosphamide is feeling sick. It may also cause bladder problems and make you more likely to pick up infections, so you'll need to have regular tests to monitor its effects.

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Can cyclophosphamide affect other medicines and treatments?

You may be prescribed other drugs alongside cyclophosphamide, but you should check with your doctor before starting any new medications.

Live vaccines aren't usually recommended if you're on cyclophosphamide.

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Can I drink alcohol while I'm on cyclophosphamide?

There's no particular reason to avoid alcohol while on cyclophosphamide.

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Can cyclophosphamide affect fertility, pregnancy or breastfeeding?

Cyclophosphamide shouldn't be used if you're pregnant or breastfeeding.

It may also reduce fertility in both men and women. Discuss this with your doctor if you're thinking of having a baby.

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