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Medications and Drugs

Brand Names: Mesnex

Generic Name: mesna (Pronunciation: MEZ nah)

What is mesna (Mesnex)?

Mesna is detoxifying agent. It reduces the harmful effects of certain metabolites (breakdown products) of the cancer chemotherapy medicine ifosfamide (Ifex).

Mesna is used to prevent bleeding in the bladder (hemorrhagic cystitis) during chemotherapy with ifosfamide (Ifex).

Mesna may also be used for purposes other than those listed here.

What are the possible side effects of mesna (Mesnex)?

Seek emergency medical attention or contact your healthcare provider immediately if you experience any of the following serious side effects:

  • an allergic reaction (difficulty breathing; closing of the throat; swelling of the lips, tongue, or face; or hives); or
  • pink or red colored urine.

Other less serious side effects may be more likely to occur. Continue to take mesna, and contact your doctor if you experience any of the following side effects:

  • nausea or vomiting;
  • decreased appetite;
  • stomach pain;
  • diarrhea;
  • dizziness;
  • flushing;
  • fever;
  • sensitive skin or skin rash;
  • paleness of the skin;
  • sleepiness;
  • coughing or cold symptoms;
  • pain, redness, or irritation at the injection site;
  • swelling or water retention; or
  • low blood pressure.

Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What is the most important information I should know about mesna (Mesnex)?

It is important to drink at least one quart (4 cups) of liquid each day during treatment with mesna, whether it is taken by mouth or by injection.

If you see blood in the urine or notice that it has a pink or red color, contact your doctor as soon as possible. Some foods or dyes may cause a red color in the urine, however it will be necessary to determine if the color is due to blood in the urine.

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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