Mesna (Generic Name)

Mesnex (Other Name)

About This Drug

Mesna is a drug given intravenously (IV) or orally (by mouth). Mesna is given to prevent bladder irritation and bleeding that ifosfamide and high dose cyclophosphamide frequently cause. It can be given before, after or with ifosfamide or high dose cyclophosphamide.

Possible Side Effects

With higher doses of mesna, the following side effects are more common:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Flushing of your face, neck and chest
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Rash
  • Pain in your joints or back
  • Fatigue
  • Taste changes (the pill has a ad after-taste)
  • Loss of appetite
  • Passing rectal gas
  • Some people have diarrhea while others have constipation
  • Low or high blood pressure
  • Irritated eyes
  • Flu -like syndrome with a cough, fever, sore throat, runny nose,
  • IV site soreness

Allergic Reactions

Allergic reactions to this drug are rare, but may occur in some patients who receive this drug. While you are receiving this drug, tell your nurse immediately if you have any of the following symptoms of an allergic reaction:

  • difficulty catching your breath
  • feeling like your tongue or throat are swelling
  • feeling your heart beat rapidly (palpitations)
  • dizziness or lightheadedness
  • flushing/itching/rash/hives

Reproductive Concerns

  • Pregnancy warning: This drug is not expected to have harmful effects on an unborn child. Discuss the use this drug with your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.
  • Breast feeding warning: It is not known if this drug passes into breast milk. For this reason, women are advised to discuss with their doctor the risks and benefits of breast feeding during treatment with this drug because this drug may enter the breast milk and seriously harm a breast feeding infant.

Treating Side Effects

  • Avoid dehydration. Drink 6-8 cups of fluids every day unless your doctor has told you to restrict your fluid intake due to another medical condition. A cup is eight ounces of fluid. If you vomit or have diarrhea, you should drink more fluids so that you do not become dehydrated.
  • Ask you doctor or nurse to prescribe medications to prevent or lessen nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, headache, joint, or back pain irritated eyes, and flu symptoms.
  • If you are constipated, check with your doctor or nurse before you use enemas, laxatives, or suppositories.

Food and Drug Interactions

There are no known interactions of mesna with food. This drug may interact with other medication. Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all the medication and dietary supplements (vitamins, minerals, herbs and others) that you are currently taking. The safety and effectiveness of dietary supplements and alternative diets are often unknown. Using these might unexpectedly affect your cancer or interfere with your treatment. Until more is known, you should not use dietary supplements or alternative diets without your cancer doctor's advice. There are no known interactions of mesna and any food. This drug may interact with other medications. Tell your doctor and pharmacist all the medications that you are currently taking.

When to Call the Doctor

Call your doctor or nurse immediately if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • Temperature of 100.5 F (38 C) or above
  • Chills
  • Unusual bleeding or bruising
  • Uncontrolled nausea that prevents you from eating or drinking
  • Vomiting four times in a day
  • Shortness of breath
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Diarrhea four times in a day or diarrhea with weakness or lightheadedness

Call your nurse or doctor as soon as possible if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • Nausea, vomiting, constipation, headaches, pain, irritated eyes, or rash unrelieved by prescribed medications
  • Painful urination

Revised February 2013

©  UPMC | Affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences
Supplemental content provided by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions. All rights reserved.

For help in finding a doctor or health service that suits your needs, call the UPMC Referral Service at 412-647-UPMC (8762) or 1-800-533-UPMC (8762). Select option 1.

UPMC is an equal opportunity employer. UPMC policy prohibits discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, age, sex, genetics, sexual orientation, marital status, familial status, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected group status. Further, UPMC will continue to support and promote equal employment opportunity, human dignity, and racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity. This policy applies to admissions, employment, and access to and treatment in UPMC programs and activities. This commitment is made by UPMC in accordance with federal, state, and/or local laws and regulations.

Medical information made available on UPMC.com is not intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should not rely entirely on this information for your health care needs. Ask your own doctor or health care provider any specific medical questions that you have. Further, UPMC.com is not a tool to be used in the case of an emergency. If an emergency arises, you should seek appropriate emergency medical services.

For UPMC Mercy Patients: As a Catholic hospital, UPMC Mercy abides by the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services, as determined by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. As such, UPMC Mercy neither endorses nor provides medical practices and/or procedures that contradict the moral teachings of the Roman Catholic Church.

© UPMC
Pittsburgh, PA, USA UPMC.com