Ifex ( Ifosfamide, Mitoxana , Isophosphamide)

Warning: Ifex is known to cause serious side effects, such as urinary problems, (e.g. hemorrhagic cystitis), blood/bone marrow disorders, and mental/mood changes. Your doctor may want you to stop treatment if any of these occur. Contact your doctor immediately if you experience any of these symptoms: pink/bloody urine, painful urination, confusion, severe drowsiness and hallucinations. Your body’s ability to fight infection may be lowered with blood/bone marrow disorders, as well as stopping bleeding. Consult your doctor immediately if you start suffering from any signs of infection or bleed/bruise easier.

Indications: This medication is used in the treatment of certain types of cancer. It works by stopping and/or slowing the growth and division of cancer cells.

Common cancers treated by Ifex include:

  • testicular cancer
  • breast cancer
  • lung cancer
  • cervical cancer
  • ovarian cancer
  • bone cancer
  • soft tissue sarcoma
  • osteogenic sarcoma (also called osteosarcoma)
  • Lymphoma (Hodgkin’s and Non-Hodgkin’s).

Dosage:  Your medical provider will intravenously give you this medication. The dosage and frequency will depend upon your weight, response to therapy and body size.

If this medication comes in contact with your skin immediately wash with soap and water. Drink plenty of fluids while on this medication to lessen the chances of urinary problems. Your doctor may prescribe you certain medication to aid in the process.

Overdose: Ifex overdose can be dangerous. An overdose of Ifex can damage the bone marrow, leading to cause serious urinary problems or death. In fact, even at normal doses, Ifex can cause serious urinary side effects. During the treatment, drink plenty of fluids; keep all appointments with your doctor.

Missing dose:  because Ifex is administered in hospital, it is basically difficult for you to miss any dose if you present for the treatment. Therefore, it is very important to keep all appointments with your doctor  . If for some reasons you cannot be present at the hospital for the therapy, contact your oncologist before the date scheduled for the injection.

Contraindications: You should tell your doctor and pharmacist of all the allergies you have to avoid any allergic reactions.

If you father a child while on this medication your child may be harmed or have birth defects. It’s important to use reliable birth control (e.g. condoms) while using this treatment. Your sperm is affected by this drug.

Pregnant women or women planning on becoming pregnant should not use this medication because it is known to cause certain birth defects and harm an unborn baby. Breast feeding does pass this drug to the baby, so it is not recommended to breast feed while using this medication.

You should not receive any immunizations while taking Ifex. Avoid people that have recently gotten oral polio vaccinations or inhaled through the nose flu vaccines.

Tell your doctor of your entire medical history, such as liver disease, kidney disease, radiation therapy, blood disorders (e.g. anemia and low blood counts), and of any current infections you have.

Avoid any vigorous activities or contact sports to less your risks of bruising/bleeding more, as well as getting infections while receiving this treatment.

Interactions: Your doctor and pharmacist should know every medication you are taking. There are certain other anti-cancer medications and non-anti-cancer drugs that will cause an interaction with Ifex.

Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking any of these medications:

  • Interferons (Actimmune, Avonex, Betaseron, Rebif, and others)
  • Aids/HIV medications such as didanosine (Videx) and stavudine (Zerit)
  • sulfinpyrazone (Anturane)
  • Probenecid  (Benuryl)
  • Live vaccins vivants
  • Ganciclovir, an antiviral drug
  • Azathioprine, an immune system inhibitor
  • Barbiturates, depressant drug that causes relaxation and sleepiness
  • Cimetidine  , a drug used to inhibit the production of acid in the stomach
  • Colchicines  , a medication used to treat pain of gouty arthritis
  • Cyclophosphamide  (Cytoxan, Cytoxan, Neosar, Procytox, Revimmune), a drug used to treat several types of cancers

Side effects: Ifex not only attack cancer cells but also non malignant cells, which often leads, in most patients, to the following side effects:

  • hair loss
  • constipation
  • diarrhea
  • difficulty sleeping
  • decreased appetite
  • mild nausea and vomiting
  • Unusual tiredness or fatigue.

Contact your doctor immediately if you experience any of these symptoms:

  • cervical cancer symptoms
  • endometrial cancer
  • anxiety
  • painful urination or red urine
  • black, tarry stools
  • unusual bruising or bleeding
  • persistent cough
  • congestion
  • infection signs (fever, chills, sore throat, rash)
  • dizziness
  • shortness of breath
  • nausea and vomiting
  • agitation, confusion, or hallucinations
  • severe depression symptoms

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