Generic Name: ifosfamide (eye FOS fah mide)
Brand Name: Ifex
What is ifosfamide?
Ifosfamide is a cancer medication that interferes with the growth and spread of cancer cells in the body.
Ifosfamide is used with other cancer medicines to treat testicular cancer.
Ifosfamide may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
What is the most important information I should know about ifosfamide?
You should not receive ifosfamide if you have a medical condition that causes urination problems (such as an enlarged prostate).
Serious and sometimes fatal infections may occur during treatment with ifosfamide. Stop using this medicine and call your doctor right away if you have signs of infection such as: sudden weakness or ill feeling, fever, chills, cold or flu symptoms, mouth sores, red or swollen gums, trouble swallowing, cough, trouble breathing, pale skin, easy bruising, unusual bleeding, or feeling light-headed.
Ifosfamide can harm your kidneys. Call your doctor at once if you have swelling, pain in your side or lower back, little or no urinating, pain or burning when you urinate, or blood in your urine.
Ifosfamide can also affect your nervous system. Call your doctor if you have problems with your hearing or vision, ringing in your ears, confusion, unusual thoughts or behavior, hallucinations, or seizure (convulsions).
What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before receiving ifosfamide?
You should not use ifosfamide if you are allergic to it, or if you have a medical condition that causes urination problems (such as an enlarged prostate).
To make sure ifosfamide is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:
a recent or active bladder infection;
if you have ever been treated with busulfan; or
if your bladder has ever been treated with radiation treatment.
Using ifosfamide may increase your risk of developing other types of cancer, such as leukemia. Ask your doctor about your specific risk.
Although ifosfamide is not for use by women, this medication 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.
Ifosfamide can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Do not breast-feed while taking ifosfamide.
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 injected into a vein through an IV. 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 only need to take the medicine during the first 5 days of each cycle. Your doctor will determine how long to treat you with ifosfamide.
Drink plenty of liquids while you are taking ifosfamide.
Ifosfamide can lower blood cells that help your body fight infections and help your blood to clot. 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 of these tests.
Ifosfamide can have long lasting effects on your body. You may need frequent medical tests for a short time after you stop using this medication.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Call your doctor for instructions if you miss a dose of ifosfamide.
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?
Ifosfamide may impair your thinking or reactions. Avoid driving or operating machinery until you know how this medicine will affect you.
Grapefruit and grapefruit juice may interact with ifosfamide and lead to unwanted side effects. Discuss the use of grapefruit products with your doctor.
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.
Avoid being near people who are sick or have infections. Tell your doctor at once if you develop signs of infection.
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.
Drinking alcohol can increase certain side effects of ifosfamide, especially nausea and vomiting.
Ifosfamide side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Serious and sometimes fatal infections may occur during treatment with ifosfamide. Stop using this medicine and call your doctor right away if you have signs of infection such as:
sudden weakness or ill feeling, fever, chills, sore throat, cold or flu symptoms;
painful mouth sores, pain when swallowing, red or swollen gums;
pale skin, easy bruising, unusual bleeding (nose, mouth, vagina, or rectum); or
feeling light-headed or short of breath, chest discomfort, wheezing, dry cough or hack, rapid weight loss.
Call your doctor at once if you have any of these side effects:
swelling, pain in your side or lower back, little or no urinating, pain or burning when you urinate, blood in your urine;
upper stomach pain, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
rapid weight gain, especially in your face and midsection;
problems with your hearing or vision, ringing in your ears;
confusion, unusual thoughts or behavior, hallucinations, seizure (convulsions);
muscle movements you cannot control;
a wound that will not heal; or
severe skin reaction -- fever, sore throat, swelling in your face or tongue, burning in your eyes, skin pain, followed by a red or purple skin rash that spreads (especially in the face or upper body) and causes blistering and peeling.
Common side effects may include:
nausea and vomiting;
numbness or tingling in your hands or feet;
drowsiness, dizziness, spinning sensation;
blurred vision, eye irritation; or
temporary hair loss.
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.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
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
5000 mg/m2 as a single 24 hour infusion
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 serious or life-threatening side effects. Ask your doctor before taking a sleeping pill, narcotic pain medicine, muscle relaxer, or medicine for anxiety, depression, or seizures.
Many drugs can interact with ifosfamide. Not all possible interactions are listed here. Tell your doctor about all your medications and any you start or stop using during treatment with ifosfamide, especially:
St. John's wort;
an antibiotic--clarithromycin, telithromycin;
antifungal medication--itraconazole, ketoconazole, posaconazole, voriconazole;
heart medication--nicardipine, quinidine;
hepatitis C medications--boceprevir, telaprevir;
HIV/AIDS medication--atazanavir, delavirdine, efavirenz, fosamprenavir, indinavir, nelfinavir, nevirapine, ritonavir, saquinavir;
seizure medication--carbamazepine, fosphenytoin, oxcarbazepine, phenobarbital, phenytoin, primidone; or
tuberculosis medication--rifabutin, rifampin, rifapentine.
This list is not complete and many other drugs can interact with ifosfamide. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Give a list of all your medicines to any healthcare provider who treats you.
More about ifosfamide
- Other brands: Ifex
Related treatment guides
Where can I get more information?
- Your doctor or pharmacist can provide more information about ifosfamide.
- 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.
- Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. 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 drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.
Copyright 1996-2012 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 2.04.
Date modified: January 10, 2017
Last reviewed: October 21, 2015