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Matulane Side Effects

Generic name: procarbazine

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Jan 23, 2023.

Note: This document contains side effect information about procarbazine. Some dosage forms listed on this page may not apply to the brand name Matulane.

Applies to procarbazine: oral capsule.


Oral route (Capsule)

It is recommended that procarbazine hydrochloride be given only by or under the supervision of a physician experienced in the use of potent antineoplastic drugs. Adequate clinical and laboratory facilities should be available to patients for proper monitoring of treatment.

Along with their needed effects, medicines like procarbazine (the active ingredient contained in Matulane) 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:


  • 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

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur while taking procarbazine:

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

Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur while taking procarbazine:

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


Other side effects of Matulane

Some side effects of procarbazine 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:

More common

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.


Very common (10% or more): Leukopenia, anemia, thrombopenia

Frequency not reported: Pancytopenia, eosinophilia, hemolytic anemia, bleeding tendencies (e.g., petechiae, purpura, epistaxis, hemoptysis)[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Nausea, vomiting, anorexia

Frequency not reported: Stomatitis, hematemesis, melena, diarrhea, dysphagia, anorexia, abdominal pain, constipation, dry mouth[Ref]

Nervous system

Frequency not reported: Headache, ataxia, slurred speech, drowsiness, coma, convulsions, neuropathy, paresthesia, nystagmus, diminished reflexes, falling, foot drop, dizziness, unsteadiness, tremors[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Hypotension, tachycardia, syncope[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Retinal hemorrhage, papilledema, photophobia, diplopia, inability to focus[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Pneumonitis, pleural effusion, cough[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Allergic skin reactions, diaphoresis, dermatitis, pruritus, alopecia, hyperpigmentation, rash, urticaria, flushing[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Severe hypersensitivity reactions with angioedema, urticaria, and a precipitous drop in serum complement[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Azoospermia, ovarian failure, gynecomastia (in prepubertal and early pubertal boys), hematuria, urinary frequency, nocturia[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Myalgia, arthralgia[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Insomnia, hallucinations, depression, apprehension, nervousness, confusion, nightmares[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Lung cancer, acute myelocytic leukemia and malignant myelosclerosis[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Lethargy, hearing loss, pyrexia, weakness, fatigue, edema, chills, hoarseness, pain[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Infections, herpes[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Jaundice, abnormal liver function tests[Ref]


1. "Product Information. Matulane (procarbazine)." Roche Laboratories (2001):

2. Cerner Multum, Inc. "UK Summary of Product Characteristics." O 0

3. Cerner Multum, Inc. "Australian Product Information." O 0

Further information

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

Some side effects may not be reported. You may report them to the FDA.