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Ifosfamide is used in combination with other anticancer drugs to treat cancer of the bronchi, breast, testes (male gonads), bladder, head, neck, bone (osteogenic sarcoma), and blood (lymphoma).

How it works

Ifosfamide belongs to group of medicines called alkylating agents. It inhibits the growth of cancer cells (cytotoxic effects) by interfering with structure and function of DNA that lead to cell death and inhibition of tumor growth.

Common side effects

Inflammation of a vein, Liver injury, Acute renal failure, Urinary bladder inflammation, Bleeding of the urinary bladder, Blood in urine, Bone marrow suppression, Hair loss, Infection, Loss of appetite, Nausea, Renal dysfunction, Vomiting, Reduced blood platelets, Decreased white blood cell count


Expert advice

  • Women should use birth control method to prevent pregnancy while receiving ifosfamide and for 6 months after treatment and men should not father a child during therapy with ifosfamide.
  • You should be regularly undergo kidney function test, urine tests, complete blood cell counts, and other blood tests to monitor progress or to check for side effects while using ifosfamide.
  • Do not drive or operate heavy machinery as ifosfamide may make you feel sleepy or dizzy.
  • Avoid consuming alcohol while taking ifosfamide as it may worsen the side effects.
  • Tell your doctor if you are or planning to become pregnant or are breastfeeding.

Frequently asked questions


Q. Does ifosfamide cause hair loss or a vesicant?
Yes, ifosfamide may cause hair loss and it may act as vesicant.
Q. What is ifosfamide with mesna?
Ifosfamide may cause damage to urinary bladder therefore it is used in combination with mesna to prevent bleeding and inflammation of the urinary bladder (hemorrhagic cystitis).

Content on this page was last updated on 30 September, 2016, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)