Mesna (Oral)

For patients taking certain cancer medicines, Mesna may be prescribed to help counter some of the harmful effects of these cancer medicines.

Overview

Mesna is a drug given to patients who are taking cancer medicines. It is able to help reduce the harmful effects that these cancer medicines have on the bladder. Such as Ifosfamide.

Be aware that Mesna is only available with a prescription from your doctor. It has a very particular set of uses and is not suitable for all patients. They will be able to inform you of how to properly take it, and advise you on any other steps you must take to mitigate the effects that cancer medicines can have on your health.

Condition(s) treated

  • Effects of some cancer medicines

Type of medicine

  • Tablet

Side effects

As well as having its intended effects, it is possible that Mesna will cause you to experience other unwanted effects. Some patients may have none of these, but others may have multiple side effects, Below is a list of the more severe side effects that are possible. If you experience any of thee whilst taking Mesna, contact your doctor immediately.

More common

Less common

  • Sweating

Incidence not known

  • General weakness and tiredness

Instead of these more serious side effects, you may experience less worrying ones that do not require medical assistance. Instead, you may simply find that they pass over time as your body adjusts to the medicine. Directly below is a list of such side effects. If you experience any of these whilst taking Mesan and find them lingering or worrying, then you may still contact your doctor for advice.

More common

Less common

  • Increased sweating

Incidence not known

  • Loss or change of taste

You may experience other side effects that are not listed here. If this occurs, then you can speak to your doctor for advice.

Dosage

Below you can find the typical doses of Mesna that are prescribed to patients in order to prevent hemorrhagic cystitis. Be aware that the exact doses you are prescribed may differ greatly from what is listed below. This is because every patient is unique in their needs, and your exact dose will be based off a number of factors. This includes things like the extent of your condition, other drugs you are taking, and other medical conditions you suffer from. Do not, therefore, alter your doses in any way unless you have been told to do so by your doctor. Never take any more of it and never take it any more frequently.

  • Adults. Your exact dose will need to be calculated by a doctor. It is usually taken between 2 and 6 hours after each time you take Ifosfamide.

You will need to take Mesna on a fixed schedule. If, for any reason, you miss a dose, contact your pharmacist or doctor for instructions on how to proceed.

You should take your prescription of Mesna in exactly the way your doctor prescribes it to you. Never take it more often, and never take it any more frequently. Similarly, once your treatment end, you should stop taking this medicine.

Whilst using this medicine, you should drink extra fluids of about 1 to 2 liters each day. This will help you pass more urine and help prevent kidney and bladder problems.

You should call your doctor straight away if you vomit within two hours of having taken this medicine.

Interactions

It is possible that Mesna will interact with other drugs you are currently taking. As such, you should inform your doctor of any other prescription and nonprescription drugs you are currently taking. Interactions can range in their severity, and your doctor is best placed to decide whether an interaction is necessary or not. If so, then they may just alter your doses of the two interacting drugs. However, if taking two drugs together is not recommended, then they may alter one or both drugs altogether. Below is a list of drugs which, if you take at the same time as Mesna, then they may cause an increased chance of you having certain side effects. However, taking Mesana with these drugs may be best for your overall treatment. Yoru doctor can decide if this is the case, and may simply need to alter the doses you receive.

  • Warfarin

As well as interacting with other drugs, it is possible that this medicine will interact with certain parts of your dietary intake. This could be what you eat, smoke, or drink. Your doctor may, therefore, advise you to make some dietary changes. For example, it may be necessary to start smoking less tobacco or drinking less alcohol.

Othe medical problems you suffer from may interact with Mesna. Inform your doctor of any other conditions you have, and be careful in pointing out any of the following if applicable.

  • A history of allergies to thiol compounds (such as amifostine). You should use this medicine with caution as it may cause an increased risk of an allergic reaction happening again

Warnings

Before prescribing you with this medicine, your doctor will first need to understand the extent of your health. This way they can decide whether it is indeed safe and suitable for you to take. In its stead, it may be better for you take an alternative medicine. As a part of this examination procedure, your doctor will need to be made aware of any allergies you suffer from. This includes any allergies to dyes, animals, foods, and preservatives.

As of writing, no efficacy and safety have been established for the use of Mesna in pediatric patients. This is because no suitable studies have yet been performed on the relationship between age and the effects this drug has.

As of writing, the suitable studies that have taken place have not highlighted any geriatric-specific problems that would make Mesna any less useful for elderly patients. Be aware, however, that elderly patients are more likely to suffer from age-related kidney problems. If this is the case, then such patients may require adjustments to their doses and extra caution given.

As of writing, it appears that some studies may have taken place on either pregnant women or animals using this medicine, but it is unclear which. It is also unclear as to whether any problems were highlighted. If you are pregnant, then your doctor is best placed to inform you whether or not there are any increased risks of using this drug.

The studies that have taken place on breastfeeding women have shown signs that it may alter milk composition or production. It may be necessary to prescribe an alternative medicine. However, if not then you should be extra careful in monitoring the infant to ensure they get enough milk and do not experience any side effects.

To ensure this medicine is working properly and to check for any unwanted effects, you will be required to have regular appointments with your doctor whilst you receive this medicine. They may need to perform urine checks. It is important that you attend all of these appointments as they can most effectively manage your treatment and make any necessary adjustments to your medication

It is possible that Mesana will cause some patients to experience severe allergic reactions, such as anaphylaxis. This condition requires immediate medical attention as it can be life-threatening. If you experience any of the following symptoms whilst taking Mesna, contact your doctor immediately.

  • Hive-like swellings on the skin

Mesna can cause very severe skin reactions. If you experience any of the following symptoms whilst taking this medicine, inform your doctor right away.

Mesna contains benzyl alcohol. This is dangerous to low-birthweight infants or premature infants as it can cause serious reactions to occur. If you are concerned about this, then discuss it with your doctor.

Be aware that Mesna may affect other medical tests you have performed. Be sure that the dentist or doctor who is treating you is aware that you are taking this medicine.

Storage

You should store your Mesna in a sealed container and keep it at room temperature at all times. It should be kept away from children, as well as any moisture, heat, or direct light. Similarly, never allow it to freeze. Once you finish you treatment dispose of any remaining medication. Also, if any medicine goes out of date, you should dispose of this as well. If you have any questions about how to sensibly and safely dispose of medicine, your pharmacist or doctor can help.

Summary

If you are undergoing cancer treatment, and are receiving particular cancer medicines, then you may also be prescribed Mesna. It can be very useful in helping to counteract some of the harmful and unwanted effects to your bladder that cancer medicines can cause. Be aware however that it is not suitable for all patients, and if it is prescribed to you, then your doctor may also give you other very clear guidance to follow. For example, you may need to make any other lifestyle of dietary changes.

Above, you can find more details about the side effects this drug may cause. If you experience any of the more severe ones and fell you need medical attention, then contact your doctor immediately. This drug is likely to be just one as a part of a number of drugs to help treat your condition. If you have any questions about your overall treatment or Mesna in particular, then these are best addressed to your doctor.