Procarbazine Side Effects

It is possible that some side effects of procarbazine may not have been reported. These can be reported to the FDA here. Always consult a healthcare professional for medical advice.

For the Consumer

Applies to procarbazine: oral capsule

Along with their needed effects, medicines like procarbazine can sometimes cause unwanted effects such as blood problems, loss of hair, high blood pressure reactions, and other side effects. These and others are described below. Also, because of the way these medicines act on the body, there is a chance that they might cause other unwanted effects that may not occur until months or years after the medicine is used. These delayed effects may include certain types of cancer, such as leukemia. Discuss these possible effects with your doctor.

Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Stop taking procarbazine and get emergency help immediately if any of the following effects occur:

Rare
  • Chest pain (severe)
  • enlarged pupils of eyes
  • fast or slow heartbeat
  • headache (severe)
  • increased sensitivity of eyes to light
  • increased sweating (possibly with fever or cold, clammy skin)
  • stiff or sore neck

If any of the following side effects occur while taking procarbazine, check with your doctor immediately:

Less common
  • Black, tarry stools
  • blood in urine or stools
  • bloody vomit
  • cough or hoarseness
  • fever or chills
  • lower back or side pain
  • painful or difficult urination
  • pinpoint red spots on skin
  • unusual bleeding or bruising

If any of the following side effects occur while taking procarbazine, check with your doctor or nurse as soon as possible:

More common
  • Confusion
  • convulsions (seizures)
  • cough
  • hallucinations (seeing, hearing, or feeling things that are not there)
  • missing menstrual periods
  • shortness of breath
  • thickening of bronchial secretions
  • tiredness or weakness (continuing)
Less common
  • Diarrhea
  • sores in mouth and on lips
  • tingling or numbness of fingers or toes
  • unsteadiness or awkwardness
  • yellow eyes or skin
Rare
  • Fainting
  • skin rash, hives, or itching
  • wheezing

Some procarbazine side effects may not need any medical attention. As your body gets used to the medicine these side effects may disappear. Your health care professional may be able to help you prevent or reduce these side effects, but do check with them if any of the following side effects continue, or if you are concerned about them:

More common
  • Drowsiness
  • muscle or joint pain
  • muscle twitching
  • nausea and vomiting
  • nervousness
  • nightmares
  • trouble in sleeping
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
Less common
  • Constipation
  • darkening of skin
  • difficulty in swallowing
  • dizziness or lightheadedness when getting up from a lying or sitting position
  • dry mouth
  • feeling of warmth and redness in face
  • headache
  • loss of appetite
  • mental depression

This medicine may cause a temporary loss of hair in some people. After treatment with procarbazine has ended, normal hair growth should return.

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to procarbazine: oral capsule

Hematologic

Hematologic side effects are dose limiting and recovery may be delayed. Leukopenia, anemia, and thrombocytopenia have been reported to occur frequently. Pancytopenia, eosinophilia, hemolytic anemia, and bleeding tendencies including petechiae, purpura, epistaxis, hematuria and hemoptysis have also been reported.

Hematologic toxicity, common to many hydrazine derivatives, include hemolysis, eosinophilia, anisocytosis, poikilocytosis, lymphocytosis and the appearance of Heinz-Ehrlich inclusion bodies in erythrocytes.

Gastrointestinal

Gastrointestinal side effects including nausea and vomiting are the most commonly reported. Hepatic dysfunction, jaundice, stomatitis, hematemesis, melena, diarrhea, dysphagia, anorexia, abdominal pain, constipation, and dry mouth have also been reported.

Most of the nausea and vomiting occur with initial drug administration. In one study, 15 of 43 patients suffered severe gastrointestinal toxicity.

Nervous system

In one study, peripheral neuropathy with paresthesia of the extremities and depressed deep tendon reflexes were reported to occur in 17% of patients. These effects, as well as ataxia, have been known to be reversible in some patients even as administration of the drug was continued.

Nervous system side effects including leukoencephalopathy, coma, convulsions, neuropathy, ataxia, paresthesia, nystagmus, diminished reflexes, falling, foot drop, headache, dizziness, chills, weakness, fatigue, hallucinations and unsteadiness have been reported.

Cardiovascular

Cardiovascular side effects including hypotension, tachycardia, and syncope have been reported.

Ocular

Ocular side effects including retinal hemorrhage, papilledema, photophobia, diplopia and inability to focus have been reported.

Respiratory

Respiratory side effects including pneumonitis, pleural effusion, and cough have been reported.

Dermatologic

If a rash develops that is self limiting, it may be prevented during subsequent courses of therapy by administration of steroids.

Dermatologic side effects including herpes, dermatitis, pruritus, alopecia, hyperpigmentation, rash, urticaria, and flushing have been reported.

Hypersensitivity

Hypersensitivity side effects have been reported.

In one study, 12 of 68 patients receiving procarbazine experienced a hypersensitivity reaction. Other studies have reported less frequent occurrences. One study noted 2 rashes out of 24 patients and another study noted 1 rash and 1 case of urticaria out of 129 patients.

Genitourinary

Genitourinary side effects including hematuria, urinary frequency, and nocturia have been reported.

Musculoskeletal

Musculoskeletal side effects including pain (myalgia and arthralgia) and tremors have been reported.

Psychiatric

Psychiatric side effects including hallucinations, depression, apprehension, agitation, psychosis, nervousness, confusion, mania and nightmares have been reported.

Endocrine

Endocrine side effects including gynecomastia in prepuberal and early puberal boys have been reported.

Oncologic

Oncologic side effects with instances of a secondary nonlymphoid malignancy, including lung cancer, acute myelocytic leukemia, and malignant myelosclerosis have been reported in patients with Hodgkin's disease treated with procarbazine in combination with other chemotherapy and/or radiation.

The risks of secondary lung cancer from treatment appear to be multiplied by tobacco use.

The carcinogenicity of procarbazine in mice, rats, and monkeys has been reported in a considerable number of studies.

Other

Other side effects including azoospermia, intercurrent infections, hearing loss, pyrexia, diaphoresis, lethargy, weakness, fatigue, edema, chills, insomnia, slurred speech, hoarseness, hyperpyrexia, and drowsiness have been reported.

Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided is accurate, up-to-date and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. In addition, the drug information contained herein may be time sensitive and should not be utilized as a reference resource beyond the date hereof. This material does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients, or recommend therapy. This information is a reference resource designed as supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill , knowledge, and judgement of healthcare practitioners in patient care. The absence of a warning for a given drug or combination thereof in no way should be construed to indicate safety, effectiveness, or appropriateness for any given patient. Drugs.com does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of materials provided. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the substances you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist.

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