Cancer Channel
Related Channels

Precautions and Warnings With Ifosfamide

If your healthcare provider is recommending treatment with ifosfamide, he or she will first ask you about your medical history and any medications, vitamins, or supplements you are taking. These details are important to help determine whether ifosfamide is appropriate for you. Safety precautions associated with this medication also include warnings for people who have lung disease, kidney disease, or bone marrow problems.

What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider?

Talk with your healthcare provider prior to receiving ifosfamide (Ifex®) if you have:
  • Kidney disease, such as kidney failure (renal failure)
  • Liver disease, such as hepatitis, cirrhosis, or liver failure
  • An inability to urinate or a slow urine flow
  • An infection of any kind, including a urinary tract infection (UTI, such as a bladder infection)
  • Had radiation treatment
  • Lung disease
  • Heart disease
  • An abnormal heart rhythm (arrhythmia)
  • Anemia (low red blood cells)
  • Bone marrow problems
  • Any allergies, including to foods, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
  • Breastfeeding
  • Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant.
You should also tell your healthcare provider about all other medications you are taking, including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Specific Ifosfamide Precautions and Warnings

Some warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to receiving this medication include the following:
  • Like other chemotherapy medicines, ifosfamide can cause significant bone marrow depression (when the bone marrow is unable to make normal amounts of red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets). This can lead to serious and potentially life-threatening infections, anemia, and bleeding problems.
  • Your healthcare provider will closely monitor your blood cell counts throughout treatment, and may delay or withhold a dose if your blood cell counts remain too low. Because you will be more susceptible to infections, you should avoid being in close contact with people who are sick or have an infection, such as the flu or a cold. Tell your healthcare provider immediately if you experience signs of bone marrow suppression, such as:
    • Abnormal bleeding or bruising
    • A fever
    • Chills
    • Body aches and pains
    • Sore throat or cough
    • Fatigue and weakness
    • Shortness of breath
    • Pale skin.
  • Ifosfamide can be toxic to the brain and central nervous system. Symptoms are most likely to occur in the first few days after treatment begins and normally resolve within two to three days. However, the side effects can last longer and may lead to ongoing problems like a coma or even death. Tell your healthcare provider immediately if you experience any of the following symptoms:
    • Extreme drowsiness
    • Confusion
    • Hallucinations
    • Changes in mood or behavior
    • Blurred vision
    • Abnormal muscle movements
    • Loss of urine control
    • Seizures.
  • Because ifosfamide can cause drowsiness, confusion, and other central nervous system problems, you should avoid driving a car or operating heavy machinery until you know how the medicine affects you.
  • This medication can damage the kidneys and bladder. It may cause hemorrhagic cystitis, which occurs when the lining of the bladder is irritated. This leads to blood in the urine and symptoms such as pain and burning during urination. In some cases, the bleeding from hemorrhagic cystitis may be severe enough to require a blood transfusion. The kidney and bladder damage from ifosfamide has also been reported to cause death. Tell your healthcare provider immediately if you notice blood in your urine or have pain or burning while urinating, more frequent urination, or a loss of bladder control.
  • It is very important to stay well hydrated while receiving ifosfamide to help prevent kidney and bladder damage. You may need to drink extra fluid to help flush your bladder. Make sure to follow your healthcare provider's instructions on how much fluid to drink each day.
  • Your healthcare provider will monitor you closely during treatment to make sure this medicine is working for you and to check for potentially serious side effects. You will need blood and urine tests regularly throughout treatment.
  • Life-threatening heart problems, including arrhythmias (an abnormal heartbeat) and heart failure, have occurred from ifosfamide. The risk for heart problems may be higher in people with kidney disease, people who have heart disease, and people who have received treatment with radiation or other medicines that can damage the heart.
  • Ifosfamide can cause lung disease, which, in some cases, can be severe enough to cause death. Tell your healthcare provider immediately if you have any signs of lung problems, such as:
    • Shortness of breath
    • Chest pain
    • A new or worsening cough.
  • You should know that this medicine may increase your risk for developing other types of cancer, including leukemia, lymphoma, thyroid cancer, and sarcoma. These cancers may develop years after treatment has ended.
  • This medicine may cause a certain liver problem known as veno-occlusive liver disease, which occurs when the tiny blood vessels in the liver become blocked. Veno-occlusive liver disease can be quite serious. Let your healthcare provider know if you develop any signs of this liver problem, such as:
    • Unexplained weight gain
    • Abdominal (stomach) pain
    • Yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes (jaundice).
  • Ifosfamide has been reported to cause infertility (the inability to have children). This effect may not be reversible. It may also cause women to stop having monthly periods or to go through menopause earlier than normal.
  • A life-threatening type of allergic reaction called anaphylaxis has been reported in people receiving ifosfamide. Seek immediate medical help if you develop signs of an allergic reaction, such as:
    • Rash
    • Hives
    • Itching
    • Swelling of the mouth, face, or throat
    • Wheezing
    • Difficulty breathing or swallowing.
  • Ifosfamide may interfere with normal wound healing. Let your healthcare provider know if you have wounds that are healing slowly or not at all.
  • Ifosfamide passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to receiving the drug (see Ifex and Breastfeeding).
  • Ifosfamide is a pregnancy Category D medication. This means it is probably not safe for use during pregnancy (see Ifex and Pregnancy).
5 Easy Tips to Manage Visitors During Cancer Treatment

Ifosfamide Drug Information

Referring Pages:
Terms of Use
Advertise with Us
Contact Us
About eMedTV
Privacy Policy
Copyright © 2006-2019 Clinaero, Inc.
eMedTV serves only as an informational resource. This site does not dispense medical advice or advice of any kind. Site users seeking medical advice about their specific situation should consult with their own physician. Click Terms of Use for more information.