Mesna (Intravenous)

Mesna is a drug used to reduce the effects of a cancer medication known as ifosfamide.


Mesna injection is used to help in reducing some of harmful effects that can occur with some cancer medications, on the bladder. This is true of ifosfamide. This medication can only be given to you by or under the supervision of a trained healthcare professional or your doctor. You cannot obtain this medication on your own. It is available in the dosage form of a solution for injection.

Conditions treated

  • Prevention of Bladder Irritation and Bleeding due to Chemotherapy

Type of medication

  • Solution

Side effects

Alongside the intended effects of this medication, its use could produce some unwanted side effects. Whilst not all of these may not be present if any do occur, you may need medical attention.

More common

Less common

  • Confusion

Incidence not known

  • Pounding in the ears

Some side effects that occur with this drug, don't usually require medical attention. You will find these side effects will go away during treatment as your body starts adjusting to the medication. Your healthcare team may be able to give you advice on ways to reduce or prevent these side effects.

Check with your doctor if any of the following side effects linger or become bothersome.

More common

  • Blistering, bleeding, coldness, burning, discoloration of the skin, feeling of pressure, infection, hives, inflammation, lumps, itching, numbness, rash, pain, redness, soreness, scarring, stinging, tenderness, swelling, tingling, warmth or ulceration, at the injection site

Less common

  • Stomach upset or discomfort

Incidence not known

  • Change or loss of taste

You may experience other side effects not listed above. If you notice anything unusual, you should check with your doctor.


The final dose of this medication will depend on individual factors. This includes your weight, age, and height, any other medical conditions you suffer from, including any medication you take to treat those conditions. It will also depend on the strength of the medication, the duration of treatment your reaction to the first dose.

The following doses are only guidelines:

Mesna can be given on a dosing schedule of either a single injection followed by oral doses or three bolus IV injections. The IV formulation is administered at twenty percent of the ifosfamide dose.

IV: Mesna is given at twenty percent of the ifosfamide dose once at the time of ifosfamide administration and twenty percent of the ifosfamide dose four and eight hours after each dose of ifosfamide.

A trained health professional or nurse will administer this medication to you in a hospital or clinical setting. This medication is given via a needle placed in one of your veins.

This medication is given on a fixed schedule. It can be given after receiving ifosfamide, four hours, and eight hours after each dose of ifosfamide.

You will need to consume extra fluids (one to two liters per day) so you can pass more urine whilst you are using this medication. This could help prevent kidney and bladder issues.

Missed Dose

This medication needs to be given on a fixed schedule. If you forget to use your medication or you miss a dose, seek advice from your pharmacist or your doctor.


Drug interactions may occur with this medication. To help limit the risk of interactions occurring, it's important to give your doctor a list of all medications you are taking. This should include all vitamin supplements, prescription and nonprescription drugs and herbal products. You should also make your doctor aware of any other medical conditions you may suffer from as these too could increase your risk of interactions. In most cases, your doctor will avoid medications that cause interactions, but in other cases, the user may still be necessary.

The use of this medication alongside any of the following may increase your risk of certain side effects, but using both may be the best treatment for you. If you are given both medications, your doctor may alter the dose or frequency in which you use either medication.

  • Warfarin

Other Interactions

Some medications cannot be used at or around the time of consuming food or eating certain types of food as it could increase the risk of interactions. The use of tobacco or alcohol with some medications could also cause interactions to occur. You should discuss with your doctor about the use of this drug alongside tobacco, food or alcohol.

Other Medical Problems

If you suffer from other medical conditions, this could affect the use of this medication. Ensure your doctor know if you have any other medical conditions, especially:

  • Allergy to thiol compounds or a history of Caution should be exercised as the user could increase the risk of an allergy.


Before you decide to take this medication, there are a number of different warnings that need to be considered. You should discuss these various warnings and precautions alongside your doctor before you decide if this is the best treatment for you.


Make your doctor aware if you have ever suffered from an allergic reaction to this medication or similar medications. You should also make them aware of other allergies including animals, dyes, preservatives or foods.

Pediatric population

Appropriate studies have not been conducted on the relationship of age to the effects of this injection in the pediatric population. Therefore efficacy and safety have not yet been established.

Geriatric population

Appropriate studies conducted to date have not indicated a geriatric-specific problem that could limit the effectiveness of this injection in the elderly population. However, older patients are more likely to suffer from age-related kidney problems, which could require a degree of caution and an adjustment in the dose for those receiving mesna injection.

Use in pregnancy and breastfeeding

This drug is under FDA pregnancy category B. The use of this drug is not expected to cause harm an unborn child. You should let your doctor know if you are pregnant or intend on becoming pregnant during treatment.

It is unknown whether this drug can pass into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing child. You should avoid breastfeeding whilst using this drug.

It's very important that your doctor monitors you closely to ensure this medication is working correctly. They may use urine tests to check for unwanted side effects.

This medication can cause a serious allergic reaction, known as anaphylaxis. This requires urgent medical attention. The most serious signs of this reaction are very irregular or fast breathing, wheezing, gasping for breath, or fainting. Other signs may include very fast but irregular pulse or heartbeat, changes in the color of the skin of the face, hive-like swellings on the skin, and swelling or puffiness of the eyelids or around the eyes. If these side effects appear, seek emergency help right away.

Serious skin reactions can occur with the use of this drug. You should seek medical attention immediately if you suffer from peeling, blistering or loose skin, severe skin rash or acne, ulcers or sores on the skin, or chills or fever while you are using this medication.

This medication contains benzyl alcohol which could cause serious reactions to low-birthweight or premature infants. If you are concerned, you should speak with your doctor.

Ensure any dentist or doctor know that you are using this drug whilst they are treating you. This medication could affect the results of certain medical tests.


This drug will be given by a doctor or trained healthcare professional so you won't typically need to worry about home storage.


When used as directed, Mesna is successful in reducing the harmful effects of cancer medication ifosfamide. This drug is very effective in reducing the risk of hemorrhagic cystitis in most who receive it. However, sometimes it may not work in a small number of people. It's therefore important you let your doctor know immediately if you notice your urine is red, bloody or pink. You should let your doctor know if you are pregnant, but this medication is not expected to cause problems. It is unknown whether this drug can pass into breast milk, so it's important you let your doctor know if you are breastfeeding as it may be best to avoid breastfeeding whilst using this medication. The safety and efficacy of this drug have not been established for use in children. You should not miss any appointments for this medication as it needs to be taken on schedule. This drug will not change the anti cancer effects of ifosfamide's. You will need to consume one litre of fluids a day whilst using this medication to reduce the bladder side effects of ifosfamide. If you require any further information about the practical uses of this medication, or you have any more questions, you should contact your doctor or local healthcare professional for further advice.