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Mesnex Side Effects

Generic name: mesna

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Mar 29, 2022.

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

For the Consumer

Applies to mesna: oral tablet

Other dosage forms:

Side effects requiring immediate medical attention

Along with its needed effects, mesna (the active ingredient contained in Mesnex) 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

  • Black, tarry stools
  • bleeding gums
  • bloating or swelling of the face, arms, hands, lower legs, or feet
  • blood in the urine
  • chest pain
  • chills
  • cough
  • decreased urination
  • dizziness
  • dry mouth
  • fainting
  • fast, pounding, or irregular heartbeat or pulse
  • fever
  • increased thirst
  • lightheadedness
  • loss of appetite
  • mood changes
  • muscle pain or cramps
  • nausea
  • numbness or tingling in the hands, feet, or lips
  • painful or difficult urination
  • pinpoint red spots on the skin
  • rapid breathing
  • rapid weight gain
  • seizures
  • sore throat
  • sores, ulcers, or white spots on the lips or in the mouth
  • sunken eyes
  • swelling
  • swollen glands
  • tightness in the chest
  • trouble breathing
  • unusual bleeding or bruising
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
  • unusual weight gain or loss
  • vomiting
  • wrinkled skin

Less common

  • Blurred vision
  • confusion
  • dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up suddenly from a lying or sitting position
  • sweating

Incidence not known

  • Coughing or spitting up blood
  • dark urine
  • general tiredness and weakness
  • headache
  • light-colored stools
  • nervousness
  • pounding in the ears
  • slow or fast
  • upper right abdominal or stomach pain
  • yellow eyes and skin

Side effects not requiring immediate medical attention

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

  • Back pain
  • belching
  • feeling of warmth
  • heartburn
  • increased sweating
  • indigestion
  • redness of the face, neck, arms, and occasionally, upper chest
  • stomach discomfort or upset
  • trouble sleeping

Incidence not known

  • Change or loss of taste

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):

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

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.