We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What are Cytotoxic Drugs?

By Rebecca Mecomber
Updated Mar 03, 2024
Our promise to you
The Health Board is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At The Health Board, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Cytotoxic drugs are powerful medications that belong to the group of antineoplastic drugs for the treatment of cancerous tumors. "Cyto" means "cell" and "toxic" means "damaging" or "deadly." These drugs seek out and damage the cells in the body that grow quickly, such as cancer cells. Generic names for some common cytotoxic drugs include azathioprine, cyclophosphamide and methotrexate. These drugs might be given as pills or intravenously as part of a chemotherapy regimen for cancer treatment, to treat neoplastic disorders or for severe arthritis.

Cytotoxins are commonly administered with immunosuppressive drugs to reduce the need for harmful steroidal treatment and to prevent cancer cell replication. Cytotoxic drugs also seek out other rapidly growing cells in the body, such as hair cells, gonad cells and blood cells. Side effects of these drugs might include hair loss, nausea, vomiting, inflammation of the mucous membranes and bleeding. Despite the unpleasant side effects of cytotoxic drugs, a patient and his or her physician might choose cytotoxic drugs as the best recourse for cancer therapy.

The development of cancer therapy began after World War II with the use of nitrogen mustards. Modern research has led to an explosion of helpful antineoplastic drugs that have more tolerable side effects. Administered in the early stages, cytotoxic drugs might be effective against Hodgkin's disease, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, testicular cancer, breast cancer and leukemia. Early detection is crucial; cytotoxic drugs are rarely effective after a tumor has metastasized.

These drugs are also known for their anti-inflammation properties, and they are sometimes administered for the treatment of arthritis and other joint diseases, lupus, Wegener's granulomatosis and vasculitis. Methotrexate is used in low doses for treating rheumatoid arthritis. Cytotoxic drugs work slowly in the body, and patients might not notice the effects for several weeks.

These drugs are administered by oncologists, and patients are closely monitored for adverse reaction. Cytotoxic drugs are considered hazardous carcinogenic compounds because of their ability to damage healthy cells. Medical professionals must exercise safe handling procedures when administering these cancer drugs.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.