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Mesna Side Effects

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Feb 10, 2024.

Applies to mesna: oral tablet. Other dosage forms:

Serious side effects of Mesna

Along with its needed effects, mesna 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 while taking mesna:

More common

Less common

Incidence not known

Other side effects of Mesna

Some side effects of mesna 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

Incidence not known

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to mesna: injectable solution, intravenous kit, oral tablet.


Very common (10% or more): Nausea (65%), vomiting (35%), constipation (28%), anorexia (21%), abdominal pain/colic (14%), diarrhea

Common (1% to 10%): Dyspepsia, dehydration, anorexia, mucosal irritation, flatulence, burning pain (substernal/epigastric), gingival bleeding

Frequency not reported: Dry mouth, bad taste

Postmarketing reports: Dysgeusia[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Leukopenia (25%), thrombocytopenia (21%), anemia (20%), granulocytopenia (16%)

Common (1% to 10%): Lymphadenopathy

Frequency not reported: Activated partial thromboplastin time prolonged

Postmarketing reports: Decrease in lymphocyte count (generally reversible within one week)[Ref]

Nervous system

Very common (10% or more): Lightheadedness, lethargy/drowsiness

Common (1% to 10%): Dizziness, headache, pain, somnolence, paresthesia, hyperesthesia, syncope, hypoesthesia, attention disturbance

Postmarketing reports: Convulsion[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Chest pain (10%)

Common (1% to 10%): Hypotension, tachycardia, palpitations

Postmarketing reports: Hypertension[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Back pain, arthralgia, myalgia, pain in extremity, pain in jaw

Frequency not reported: Rigors[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Hypokalemia (10%)[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Acute renal failure[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Fatigue (24%), fever (24%), asthenia (15%), flushing

Common (1% to 10%): Edema, peripheral edema, facial edema, pallor, insomnia, nightmares

Frequency not reported: Fever, malaise[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Alopecia (12%), rash

Common (1% to 10%): Hyperhidrosis, pruritus

Frequency not reported: Erythema multiforme, drug rash, ulcerations and/or bullae/blistering, angioedema, urticaria, burning sensation, erythema[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Hematuria, dysuria[Ref]


Postmarketing reports: Hepatitis[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Pneumonia

Frequency not reported: Influenza-like symptoms[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Infusion site pruritus, infusion site rash

Common (1% to 10%: Infusion site pain, infusion site erythema, infusion site urticaria, infusion site swelling[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Conjunctivitis, photophobia, blurred vision[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Anxiety, confusion[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Dyspnea (11%)

Common (1% to 10%): Cough, nasal congestion, pleuritic pain, bronchospasm, laryngeal discomfort, epistaxis

Frequency not reported: Pharyngitis, rhinitis, respiratory distress, hypoxia

Postmarketing reports: Hemoptysis[Ref]


1. Product Information. Mesnex (mesna). Bristol-Myers Squibb. 2001;PROD.

2. Cerner Multum, Inc. UK Summary of Product Characteristics.

3. Pharmaceutical Society of Australia. APPGuide online. Australian prescription products guide online. 2006.

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.