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J Rheumatol. 1996 Feb;23(2):273-8.

Outpatient monthly oral bolus cyclophosphamide therapy in systemic lupus erythematosus.

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National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA.



An open label study to determine the feasibility and acute toxicity of a 6 month course of outpatient intermittent bolus high dose oral cyclophosphamide in patients with active systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).


Oral cyclophosphamide in a single dose of 0.5 to 1.0 g/m2 was given monthly for 6 consecutive months. Disease activity was monitored by quantitative assessments of urine sediment, 24h urine protein excretion, and the Systemic Lupus Activity Measure (SLAM).


Twelve patients (11 with glomerulonephritis and one with thrombocytopenia) were studied. Improvements in SLAM scores, proteinuria, and urinary cellular casts were observed in the majority of the 9 patients with nephritis who completed the study. Adverse effects included mild nausea in most patients and intercurrent infections in 2 patients (herpes zoster, cellulitis, urinary tract infection). Three patients failed to complete the 6 month course of therapy because of treatment failure in the patient with thrombocytopenia, pregnancy, and severe vomiting, respectively.


High dose pulse oral cyclophosphamide is an acceptable alternative for the aggressive outpatient management of selected patients with lupus nephritis.

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