Cytoxan for Kidney Disease

Cytoxan for Kidney DiseaseAmong all kinds of drugs for kidney disease, there is a drug that kills human immune cells, called cytotoxic drugs. Today we are talking about a cytotoxic drug - cytoxan, also known as cyclophosphamide.

What is cyclophosphamide?

Cyclophosphamide is a kind of chemotherapeutic drug for malignant tumors when it is just used in clinic. Later studies found that its strong immunosuppressive effect can reduce the excessive immune inflammation of the kidney, thus playing a role in the treatment of kidney disease.

The immune system of kidney patients is often overactivated and the white blood cells are abnormally active. Leukocyte secretes inflammatory cytokines, which make kidney immune inflammation. After a long time of inflammation, the nephron will necrosis, leading to renal fibrosis and atrophy. As a result, renal function declines.

If immune inflammation is mild, we can use drugs like ACEI or ARBs to improve inflammation; if inflammation is a little severe, steroids can be used; if inflammation is very serious, or some kidney diseases are not well treated with steroids alone, and the risk of Kidney Failure is high, cytotoxic drug - cyclophosphamide may have to be used to kill white blood cells and inhibit renal inflammation.

Toxicity of Cyclophosphamide

Cyclophosphamide targets the DNA of white blood cells, killing them by inhibiting their DNA division. We know that white blood cells are an important part of the human immune system. The reduction of white blood cells can decrease immunity and increase the risk of infection. In addition, the adverse reactions of cyclophosphamide include:

1. Influencing liver function

2. Influencing fertility (depending on accumulation, pregnant women should use cautiously)

3. Nausea and vomiting

4. Hair loss

5. Frequency of urination, urgency of urination, hematuria and even dysuria

6. Increasing the risk of malignant tumors

Although cyclophosphamide has adverse reactions such as hematotoxicity, gonadal toxicity, bladder toxicity, hyponatremia and increased risk of cancer, it is only possible, usually not all, and cyclophosphamide will not be used for a long time. Kidney patients need not worry about its adverse reactions.

What kidney diseases can cyclophosphamide treat?

Cyclophosphamide is commonly used in diseases that are difficult to control by conventional drugs, such as:

1. Membranous nephropathy with massive proteinuria

2. Frequently relapsed minimal change disease

3. Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) with insignificant steroid effect or abnormal renal function

4. Lupus Nephritis

5. Vasculitis-related nephropathy

6. Anti-basement membrane antibody nephropathy

7. IgA Nephropathy with more proteinuria and worse pathology

Above kidney disease usually has more urinary protein and higher risk of renal failure. At the same time, conventional treatment may be difficult to achieve the desired therapeutic effect. Cyclophosphamide can often significantly reduce urinary protein, even clinical cure, to avoid further kidney damage.

Notes for the use of cyclophosphamide:

1. The drug stimulates bladder and urethra greatly, so you should drink more water before use.

2. Blood routine and liver function should be checked regularly. When skin turns yellow and bleeding occurs, patients should see a doctor immediately, and those with poor liver function should use cautiously.

3. Cyclophosphamide can kill some clotting cells. If traumatic hemorrhage occurs, it may not be easy to stop bleeding. It is necessary to avoid intense exercise which is prone to trauma.

The use of cyclophosphamide in kidney patients is risky and beneficial. When cyclophosphamide is needed, there are often not many choices. Doctors use cyclophosphamide to make decisions after weighing the pros and cons. Although it is toxic, it depends on who is used and which kind of kidney disease is used. Cyclophosphamide is a good drug to save kidney if it is used correctly. For more information on CKD treatment, please leave a message below or contact online doctor.


***Please seek professional medical advise for the diagnosis or treatment of any ailment, disease or medical condition. This article is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a licensed medical professional.***

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