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Brand names:

Matulane®, Natulan®

Other names:

PCB, PCZ. Procarbazine Hydrochloride

Often used for:

Hodgkin lymphoma, Glioma

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What is Procarbazine?

Procarbazine is a type of chemotherapy. It works by slowing or stopping the growth of cells. Procarbazine may be used in combination with other medicines.

Patients will have regular blood draws to check blood counts and to monitor liver and kidney function. The dose of procarbazine may change based on results of lab tests.

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May be taken as a capsule by mouth

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May be taken as a liquid by mouth

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Possible Side Effects

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Low blood counts (may cause increased risk of infection, bleeding, anemia, and/or fatigue)
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fatigue or weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Abdominal pain
  • Headache
  • Problems sleeping
  • Bone, joint, or muscle pain
  • Dry mouth
  • Hair loss
  • Changes in skin color
  • Flushing
  • Flu-like symptoms (Fever, chills)
  • Cough
  • Increased urination
  • Liver problems
  • Kidney problems
  • Lung problems
  • Fertility problems

Symptoms of an allergic reaction may include: hives, rash, itching, difficulty breathing and/or swallowing, low blood pressure

Not all patients who take procarbazine 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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Possible Late Effects

Some patients may experience long-term or late effects of treatment that may continue or develop months or years after treatment ends. Possible late effects due to procarbazine include:

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Tips for Families

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

  • Procarbazine can react with a chemical called tyramine found in cold medicines and many common foods. This can cause problems like high blood pressure. While taking this medicine, patients should avoid alcoholic beverages and foods high in tyramine including cheeses, deli meats, yeast, pod beans, and soy sauce. Foods and drinks with caffeine should also be limited. Talk to your doctor before taking any drug, including over-the-counter medicine for coughs or colds.
  • A doctor may prescribe medicine to reduce nausea and vomiting.
  • Sexually active patients should take steps to prevent pregnancy during treatment and for a period of time after completion of therapy.
  • Patients should tell their doctor if they are pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • Caregivers should follow instructions for safe handling and disposal of chemotherapy and avoid contact with patient body fluids. Patient body fluids can contain the drug for 48 hours after it is given.

Procarbazine at home:

  • This medicine may make you dizzy or drowsy. Do not drive or do anything that could be dangerous until you see how this medicine affects you. Be careful using the stairs or when getting up after lying or sitting down.
  • Take procarbazine at the same time each day with or without food. Take with a full glass of water.
  • Taking procarbazine at bedtime on an empty stomach may help prevent nausea.
  • Swallow capsules whole. Do not open, cut, crush, or chew capsules.
  • Caregivers should wear gloves when handling this medicine. If the medicine gets on your skin, wash the area right away.
  • Liquid procarbazine: Shake well before use, and protect from light.
  • Store procarbazine at room temperature.
  • Give a missed dose as soon as possible. If it is near the time for the next dose, skip the dose. Do not give 2 doses at the same time.
  • Do not use the medicine past the expiration date.
  • Follow instructions for safe handling and disposal.