|Type of medicine||Uroprotectant|
|Used for||Prevention of damage to the bladder during cancer therapy|
|Available as||Tablets or injection|
Mesna is used to prevent the side-effects caused by the medicines cyclophosphamide or ifosfamide. These are used to treat a wide range of cancers and can cause damage to the bladder. Mesna works by stopping the damaging action of these medicines and so protects the bladder from harm.
Before taking mesna
Before taking mesna make sure your doctor or pharmacist knows:
- If you are pregnant, trying for a baby or breast-feeding.
- If you are taking other medicines, including those available to buy without a prescription, herbal or complementary medicines.
- If you have ever had an allergic reaction to this or to any other medicine.
How to take mesna
- Before beginning treatment, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet.
- Take mesna exactly as directed by your doctor. You will need to take a dose 2 hours before your cancer treatment, then 2 hours afterwards, and then again 6 hours after treatment. It is important that you take your doses at these times.
- Mesna occasionally causes you to feel or be sick. It is important to keep taking this medicine at regular dosage times even if you begin to feel unwell.
- If you are sick shortly after taking a dose, or you forget a dose, check with your doctor. You will be told whether to take the dose again, or wait until the next dose is due.
- If you have been given the injection form to be taken by mouth, mix the contents of the ampoules in a flavoured drink such as orange juice or cola. Once mixed you can store this solution in a fridge for up to 24 hours in a sealed container.
Getting the most from your treatment
- It is important that you keep your regular appointments with the doctor or hospital so your progress can be checked.
Can mesna cause problems?
Along with their useful effects, all medicines can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them.
|Common side-effects - these affect less than 1 in 10 people who take this medicine||What can I do if I experience this|
|Feeling or being sick||It is important that you keep taking mesna. If you are sick shortly after taking a dose, let your doctor or nurse know|
|Diarrhoea, tiredness, headache, aches and pains, rash, feeling depressed, fast heartbeat, and feeling dizzy when you stand up||Talk with your doctor or nurse if any of these are troublesome|
Important: if you experience any other symptoms which you think may be due to this medicine, speak with your doctor or nurse.
How to store mesna
- Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
- Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.
Important information about all medicines
Further reading & references
- British National Formulary; 59th Edition (March 2010) British Medical Association and Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, London.
|Original Author: Helen Allen||Current Version: Helen Allen|
|Last Checked: 21/10/2010||Document ID: 3785 Version: 22||© EMIS|
Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. EMIS has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but make no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. For details see our conditions.