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Virtual Assistant

Our new Arthritis Virtual Assistant uses artificial intelligence to answer your arthritis related questions 24/7.

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What can it do?

Welcome to the beta Arthritis Virtual Assistant. At the moment it can give you general information about your condition and medication, and provide you with useful exercises to help manage your arthritis.

Why do we need your help?

The Arthritis Virtual Assistant has been built to learn and improve with every use. That way, whenever you use it, you’re indirectly helping another person get the answers that they need for their arthritis.

What can you ask?

You'll get the best response if your question relates to a single type of arthritis, and is expressed as clearly and simply as possible. For example, "What are the best exercises for osteoarthritis?" or "What are the side effects of methotrexate?"

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Arthritis Virtual Assistant

The Arthritis Virtual Assistant (AVA) allows you to ask questions and get answers about your condition and how best to manage it. It’s based on over 80 years of our research and uses artificial intelligence to decide on the best responses to give you. The AVA is currently in ‘beta’ testing which means it’s still learning and will improve as more people use it.

The AVA provides general information. For further info, or if you have any concerns you should speak to a healthcare professional.

The AVA is intended for UK users. Medical practice may differ in different regions, so please seek local advice instead of using the AVA if you are outside the UK.

By using the AVA you confirm that you understand and accept the terms of use and consent to how we will use the information you provide.

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Helpline 0800 5200 520 More information

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

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

A common side-effect of cyclophosphamide is feeling sick (nausea). Your doctor may prescribe medicine to control this.

Because cyclophosphamide affects your immune system, it can make you more likely to pick up infections. It can also make them harder to spot. Make sure you have your repeat blood tests and tell your doctor or rheumatology nurse straight away if you develop:

  • a sore throat, fever or other signs of infection
  • unexplained bruising or bleeding
  • any other new symptoms that concern you.

You should stop taking cyclophosphamide, try to get a prompt blood test, and see your doctor immediately if any of the above symptoms are severe.

You should also see your doctor if you get chickenpox or shingles or come into contact with someone who has chickenpox or shingles. These illnesses can be severe if you're on cyclophosphamide. You may need antiviral treatment, and your cyclophosphamide may need to be stopped until you're better.

One very important side-effect is inflammation and bleeding of the bladder wall (haemorrhagic cystitis). If this happens you may notice blood in your urine and you must see your doctor immediately. To reduce the risk of this happening, you should drink 8–10 glasses (2–3 litres) of non-alcoholic drinks or water a day. You may be prescribed a drug called mesna to try to reduce the risk of cystitis.

Cyclophosphamide can also affect the blood count, which means your body is making fewer blood cells.

Because cyclophosphamide can affect the blood and the bladder, your doctor will arrange for you to have blood and urine tests before and during treatment. You may be asked to keep a record of your test results in a booklet and to bring it with you when you visit your GP or the hospital.

You must not take cyclophosphamide unless you're having regular checks.

Sometimes cyclophosphamide can cause hair loss, mouth ulcers and irregular menstrual periods.

There's a slightly increased risk of certain types of cancer, particularly bladder cancer, but cyclophosphamide won't be prescribed unless your doctor thinks the benefits outweigh the risks.

Reducing the risk of infection

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Virtual Assistant

Our new Arthritis Virtual Assistant uses artificial intelligence to answer your arthritis related questions 24/7.

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For more information, go to www.arthritisresearchuk.org.
Arthritis Research UK fund research into the cause, treatment and cure of arthritis. You can support Arthritis Research UK by volunteering, donating or visiting our shops.