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Supportive Care

Brand names:

Mesnex®, Uromitexan®

Often used for:

Prevention of bladder damage caused by some cancer medicines

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About Mesna

Mesna helps to protect against some of harmful effects of chemotherapy. It acts to lower the risk of hemorrhagic cystitis, a condition involving bleeding and inflammation of the bladder. Mesna is often given to patients receiving the chemotherapy medicines ifosfamide or cyclophosphamide.

Mesna is generally given multiple times each day of chemotherapy using a set dosing schedule.

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May be taken as a tablet by mouth

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May be given as a liquid into a vein by IV or injection

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Possible Side Effects

  • Bad taste in the mouth (with oral formulation)
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Headache

Not all patients who take mesna will experience these side effects. Common side effects are in bold, but there may be others. Please report all suspected side effects to your doctor or pharmacist.

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Tips for Families

Be sure to discuss these and other recommendations with your doctor or pharmacist.

  • While taking mesna, it is important to drink plenty of fluids and urinate often to flush the kidneys and bladder. Patients should follow the care team’s instructions for appropriate fluid intake.
  • Signs of bladder irritation or blood in the urine should be reported to a doctor right away.
  • If vomiting occurs within 2 hours of taking mesna by mouth, another dose may be needed.
  • Mesna may affect some lab tests, especially in patients with high blood sugar (diabetes). Talk to a doctor or pharmacist about the use and reading of urine glucose test strips.

Mesna at home:

  • This medicine has a bad taste when taken by mouth. Taking with a strong-tasting liquid (juice, carbonated beverage) is recommended.
  • If you miss a dose of mesna, call your doctor immediately for instructions.
  • Store tablets at room temperature.
  • Do not use the medicine past the expiration date.
  • Follow instructions for safe handling and disposal.