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Mesna is used to prevent and reduce the bleeding in the urinary bladder (haemorrhagic cystitis) in the patients who receive ifosfamide or higher doses of cyclophosphamide given during the cancer treatment (chemotherapy).

How it works

Mesna belongs toabdominal pain a class of drugs called cytoprotectants. It protects the urinary bladder from harmful effects of ifosfamide and cyclophosphamide.

Common side effects

Vomiting, Nausea, Drowsiness, Abdominal pain, Application site redness of skin, Application site irritation, Constipation, Cough, Diarrhoea, Fever, Fatigue, Dizziness, Flushing, Hair loss, Headache, Weight loss, Loss of appetite, Loss of strength, Muscle pain, Joint pain, Sore throat


Expert advice

  • Drink at least 1 litre of fluid daily while you are receiving mesna.
  • Seek immediate medical attention if you experience severe allergic reactions like rash, itching, breathing difficulty, chest tightness, and swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue while taking mesna.
  • Do not drive or operate machinery as mesna may cause drowsiness, dizziness, blurred vision, or light headedness.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant or are breastfeeding.
  • You will be monitored for blood or protein in urine during the treatment of mesna.
  • Do not take if allergic to mesna or any of its ingredients (thiol containing compound)

Frequently asked questions


Q. Is mesna a chemotherapy drug?
Mesna is not a chemotherapy drug.

Q. Why it is given with ifosamide or cyclophosphamise (Cytoxan)?
 It is given along with the chemotherapy drug ifosfamide or cyclophosphamide to reduce the side effects of these drugs.
Q. Is mesna cytotoxic?
No. Mesna is not cytotoxic drug. It is cytoprotective drug.
Q. Is mesna compatible with potassium chloride and doxorubicin?
Yes, Mesna is compatible with potassium chloride and doxorubicin.
Q. Is mesna a vesicant?
No, mesna is not a vesicant.

Content on this page was last updated on 14 October, 2016, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)