Generic Name: mesna (MES-na)
Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Oct 3, 2020.
Commonly used brand name(s)
In the U.S.
Available Dosage Forms:
Therapeutic Class: Hemorrhagic Cystitis Inhibitor
Uses for mesna
Mesna is used to lower the risk of inflammation and bleeding of the bladder (hemorrhagic cystitis) in patients who receive ifosfamide (cancer medicine).
Mesna is available only with your doctor's prescription.
Before using mesna
In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For mesna, the following should be considered:
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to mesna or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.
Appropriate studies have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of mesna in the pediatric population. Safety and efficacy have not been established.
Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of mesna in the elderly. However, elderly patients are more likely to have age-related liver, kidney, and heart problems, which may require caution and an adjustment in the dose for patients receiving mesna.
Studies suggest that this medication may alter milk production or composition. If an alternative to this medication is not prescribed, you should monitor the infant for side effects and adequate milk intake.
Interactions with medicines
Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are taking mesna, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.
Using mesna with any of the following medicines may cause an increased risk of certain side effects, but using both drugs may be the best treatment for you. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
Interactions with food/tobacco/alcohol
Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.
Other medical problems
The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of mesna. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
- Allergy to thiol compounds (eg, amifostine), history of—Use with caution. May increase risk of an allergic reaction to occur again.
Proper use of mesna
Take mesna exactly as directed by your doctor. Do not take more of it, do not take it more often, and do not take it for a longer time than your doctor ordered.
Drink extra fluids (1 to 2 liters per day) so you will pass more urine while you are using mesna. This may help prevent bladder and kidney problems.
If you vomit within 2 hours after you take mesna, call your doctor right away.
The dose of mesna will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of mesna. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.
The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.
- For oral dosage form (tablets):
- For prevention of hemorrhagic cystitis:
- Adults—Dose must be determined by your doctor. Your dose will usually be taken 2 hours and 6 hours after each dose of ifosfamide.
- Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
- For prevention of hemorrhagic cystitis:
Mesna needs to be given on a fixed schedule. If you miss a dose or forget to use your medicine, call your doctor or pharmacist for instructions.
Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.
Keep out of the reach of children.
Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
Ask your healthcare professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use.
Precautions while using mesna
It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits to make sure mesna is working properly. Blood and urine tests will be needed to check for unwanted effects.
Mesna is used together with ifosfamide. Ifosfamide can harm your unborn baby while you are pregnant. It may also cause birth defects if the father is using it when his sexual partner becomes pregnant. Use an effective form of birth control during treatment with mesna in combination with ifosfamide and for 6 months after the last dose. Male patients with female partners should use an effective form of birth control during treatment and for 3 months after the last dose. If you think you have become pregnant while using mesna, tell your doctor right away.
Mesna may cause serious allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis, which can be life-threatening and require immediate medical attention. The most serious signs of this reaction are very fast or irregular breathing, gasping for breath, or fainting. Other signs may include: changes in facial skin color, very fast but irregular heartbeat or pulse, hive-like swellings on the skin, and puffiness or swellings of the eyelids or around the eyes. If these side effects occur, get emergency help at once.
Serious skin reactions can occur with mesna. Check with your doctor right away if you have blistering, peeling, or loosening of the skin, red skin lesions, severe acne or skin rash, sores or ulcers on the skin, or fever or chills while you are using mesna.
Make sure any doctor or dentist who treats you knows that you are using mesna. It may affect the results of certain medical tests.
Mesna side effects
Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:
- Black, tarry stools
- bleeding gums
- bloating or swelling of the face, arms, hands, lower legs, or feet
- blood in the urine
- chest pain
- decreased urination
- dry mouth
- fast, pounding, or irregular heartbeat or pulse
- increased thirst
- loss of appetite
- mood changes
- muscle pain or cramps
- numbness or tingling in the hands, feet, or lips
- painful or difficult urination
- pinpoint red spots on the skin
- rapid breathing
- rapid weight gain
- sore throat
- sores, ulcers, or white spots on the lips or in the mouth
- sunken eyes
- swollen glands
- tightness in the chest
- trouble breathing
- unusual bleeding or bruising
- unusual tiredness or weakness
- unusual weight gain or loss
- wrinkled skin
- Blurred vision
- dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up suddenly from a lying or sitting position
Incidence not known
- Coughing or spitting up blood
- dark urine
- general tiredness and weakness
- light-colored stools
- pounding in the ears
- slow or fast
- upper right abdominal or stomach pain
- yellow eyes and skin
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:
- difficulty having a bowel movement
- hair loss
- lack or loss of strength
- sleepiness or unusual drowsiness
- stomach pain
- weight loss
- Back pain
- feeling of warmth
- increased sweating
- redness of the face, neck, arms, and occasionally, upper chest
- stomach discomfort or upset
- trouble sleeping
Incidence not known
- Change or loss of taste
Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
More about mesna
- Side Effects
- During Pregnancy
- Dosage Information
- Drug Interactions
- Pricing & Coupons
- En Español
- Drug class: antineoplastic detoxifying agents
- Other brands
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Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.