Cytotoxic Drugs

  • Hilary A. Capell
  • T. J. Daymond
  • W. Carson Dick
Part of the Treatment in Clinical Medicine book series (TC MEDICINE)


Much thought is necessary before a cytotoxic drug is prescribed in patients suffering from rheumatic disorders. These drugs pose dual problems when used in chronic disease: firstly, there is the danger of immediate toxicity (which is, of course, true of most drugs), and secondly there is the risk of a long-term effect on spermatogenesis and oogenesis and the possibility of predisposition to lymphoreticular and solid tissue neoplasms. The potential hazards must be carefully weighed against anticipated benefit, and antimitotic drugs should only be used after a careful trial of less toxic alternatives. Discussion with the patient and family is always essential. These drugs should be viewed in a “3rd” or even “4th line” context.


Rheumatoid Arthritis Rheumatic Disease Lupus Nephritis Cytotoxic Drug Cyclophosphamide Therapy 
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Further Reading

  1. Barnes CG, Lovatt GE (1982) Therapeutic workshop. Ann Rheum Dis 41 [Suppl]: 1–60CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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  15. Williams HJ, Reading JC, Ward JR, O’Brien WM (1980) Comparison of high and low dose cyclophosphamide therapy in rheumatoid arthritis. Arthritis Rheum 23: 521–527PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hilary A. Capell
    • 1
  • T. J. Daymond
    • 2
  • W. Carson Dick
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.Centre for Rheumatic DiseasesGlasgowScotland
  2. 2.Sunderland District General HospitalSunderlandEngland
  3. 3.University of Newcastle upon TyneEngland
  4. 4.Royal Victoria InfirmaryNewcastle upon TyneEngland

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