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Ifosfamide

Generic Name: ifosfamide (eye FOS fah mide)
Brand Name: Ifex

Medically reviewed by Drugs.com on Oct 2, 2018 – Written by Cerner Multum

What is ifosfamide?

Ifosfamide is used with other medicines to treat testicular cancer in men.

Ifosfamide is usually given after other treatments have failed.

Ifosfamide may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Important Information

You should not receive ifosfamide if you have a medical condition that causes urination problems (such as an enlarged prostate).

Ifosfamide affects your immune system. You may get infections more easily, even serious or fatal infections. Call your doctor if you have a fever, chills, cough, mouth sores, or unusual bleeding or bruising.

Ifosfamide can affect your kidneys or nervous system. Call your doctor at once if you have urination problems, blood in your urine, problems with your hearing or vision, unusual thoughts or behavior, hallucinations, or a seizure.

Before taking this medicine

You should not be treated with ifosfamide if you are allergic to it, or if you have a medical condition that causes urination problems (such as an enlarged prostate).

Tell your doctor if you have ever had:

Using ifosfamide may increase your risk of developing other cancers, such as leukemia. Ask your doctor about this risk.

Although ifosfamide is not for use by women, ifosfamide can cause birth defects if a woman is exposed to it during pregnancy.

Use effective birth control to prevent pregnancy, whether you are a man or a woman. Ifosfamide use by either parent may cause birth defects. Keep using birth control for at least 6 months after treatment.

This medication may affect fertility (your ability to have children), whether you are a man or a woman. Some women using ifosfamide have stopped having periods, or started having symptoms of early menopause.

A woman receiving ifosfamide should not breast-feed.

How is ifosfamide given?

Your doctor will perform blood and urine tests to make sure you do not have conditions that would prevent you from safely using this medicine.

Ifosfamide is given as an infusion into a vein. A healthcare provider will give you this injection.

If this medicine accidentally gets on your skin, wash it thoroughly with soap and warm water.

Ifosfamide is given in a 21-day treatment cycle, but you will receive the medicine only during the first 5 days of each cycle. Your doctor will determine how many cycles you should receive.

Drink plenty of liquids while you are taking ifosfamide.

Your blood will need to be tested often. Your heart, kidney function, liver function, or nerve and muscle function may also need to be checked. Your cancer treatments may be delayed based on the results.

Ifosfamide can have long lasting effects on your body. You may also need medical tests for a short time after your last dose.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Call your doctor for instructions if you miss an appointment for your ifosfamide injection.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

What should I avoid while receiving ifosfamide?

Avoid driving or hazardous activity until you know how ifosfamide will affect you. Your reactions could be impaired.

Drinking alcohol can increase certain side effects of ifosfamide, especially nausea and vomiting.

Grapefruit may interact with ifosfamide and lead to unwanted side effects. Avoid the use of grapefruit products.

Do not receive a "live" vaccine while using ifosfamide, or you could develop a serious infection. Live vaccines include measles, mumps, rubella (MMR), rotavirus, typhoid, yellow fever, varicella (chickenpox), zoster (shingles), and nasal flu (influenza) vaccine.

Avoid being near people who are sick or have infections. Tell your doctor at once if you develop signs of infection.

This medicine can pass into body fluids (urine, feces, vomit). For at least 48 hours after you receive a dose, avoid allowing your body fluids to come into contact with your hands or other surfaces. Caregivers should wear rubber gloves while cleaning up a patient's body fluids, handling contaminated trash or laundry or changing diapers. Wash hands before and after removing gloves. Wash soiled clothing and linens separately from other laundry.

Ifosfamide side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction (hives, difficult breathing, swelling in your face or throat) or a severe skin reaction (fever, sore throat, burning eyes, skin pain, red or purple skin rash with blistering and peeling).

You may get infections more easily, even serious or fatal infections. Call your doctor right away if you have signs of infection such as:

  • fever, chills, flu symptoms;

  • mouth and throat ulcers;

  • skin sores, pale skin, cold hands and feet;

  • easy bruising, unusual bleeding;

  • rapid heart rate, shallow breathing; or

  • feeling light-headed or short of breath.

Call your doctor at once if you have any of these side effects:

  • confusion, unusual thoughts or behavior, hallucinations, seizure (convulsions);

  • little or no urination, painful or difficult urination, blood in your urine;

  • loss of bladder control;

  • a seizure;

  • muscle movements you cannot control;

  • problems with your hearing or vision, ringing in your ears;

  • sudden chest pain, wheezing, dry cough;

  • dark urine, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes); or

  • a wound that will not heal.

Common side effects may include:

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Ifosfamide dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for Testicular Cancer:

For third line chemotherapy of germ cell testicular cancer:

1.2 g/m2, diluted to 50 mg/mL IV over 30 minutes once a day with mesna (intravenous, oral, or continuous intravenous infusion) just before and 4 and 8 hours after each dose and aggressive (usually IV) hydration (2 to 4 L/day).

Ifosfamide is usually given for 5 days, with 5 day regimens repeated every 3 to 4 weeks, and after recovery from hematologic toxicity.

Usual Adult Dose for Cervical Cancer:

(In combination with other chemotherapeutic agents as a part of the BIP regimen)
5,000 mg/m2 IV over 24 hours on day 2
Cycle repeated every 21 days

(In combination with other chemotherapeutic agents as a part of the BIC regimen)
2,000 mg/m2 IV on days 1 through 3
Cycle repeated every 21 days

Usual Pediatric Dose for Malignant Disease:

1200 to 1800 mg/m2/day for 3 to 5 days every 21 to 28 days

or

5000 mg/m2 as a single 24 hour infusion

or

3 g/m2/day for 2 days

What other drugs will affect ifosfamide?

Using ifosfamide with other drugs that make you sleepy or slow your breathing can cause dangerous side effects or death. Ask your doctor before using opioid medication, a sleeping pill, a muscle relaxer, or medicine for anxiety or seizures.

Sometimes it is not safe to use certain medications at the same time. Some drugs can affect your blood levels of other drugs you take, which may increase side effects or make the medications less effective.

Many drugs can affect ifosfamide. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed here. Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any medicine you start or stop using.

Further information

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

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