Brand Name(s):

  • Ifex®

Other Name(s):

  • Isophosphamide


Ifosfamide can cause serious urinary side effects. You will be given mesna, a medication to prevent urinary side effects, and be required to either drink liquids or receive hydration intravenously. Follow all directions carefully.

Ifosfamide can cause a decrease in the number of blood cells in your bone marrow. Your doctor will order tests before, during, and after your treatment to see if your blood cells are affected by this drug.

WHY is this medicine prescribed?

Your doctor has ordered the drug ifosfamide to help treat your illness. The drug is given by injection into a vein.

This medication is used to treat:

  • germ cell testicular cancer
  • bone and soft tissue sarcomas

This medication is sometimes prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Ifosfamide is in a class of drugs known as alkylating agents; it slows or stops the growth of cancer cells in your body. The length of treatment depends on the types of drugs you are taking, how well your body responds to them, and the type of cancer you have.

Are there OTHER USES for this medicine?

Ifosfamide also is used to treat lung cancer, cervical cancer, and ovarian cancer. Talk to your doctor about the possible risks of using this drug for your condition.

What SPECIAL PRECAUTIONS should I follow?

Before taking ifosfamide,

  • tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to ifosfamide or any other drugs.
  • tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications you are taking, especially aspirin and vitamins.
  • tell your doctor if you have or have ever had kidney disease.
  • you should know that ifosfamide may interfere with the normal menstrual cycle (period) in women and may stop sperm production in men. However, you should not assume that you cannot get pregnant or that you cannot get someone else pregnant. Women who are pregnant or breast-feeding should tell their doctors before they begin taking this drug. You should not plan to have children while receiving chemotherapy or for a while after treatments. (Talk to your doctor for further details.) Use a reliable method of birth control to prevent pregnancy. Ifosfamide may harm the fetus.
  • while being treated with ifosfamide, drink plenty of fluids because this drug can irritate your kidneys and bladder. This precaution is especially important if you have had chemotherapy before.
  • do not have any vaccinations (e.g., measles or flu shots) without talking to your doctor.

What SIDE EFFECTS can this medicine cause?

Side effects from ifosfamide are common and include:

  • thinned or brittle hair
  • darkened and thickened skin

Tell your doctor if the following symptom is severe or lasts for several hours:

  • fatigue

If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:

  • painful urination or red urine
  • black, tarry stools
  • unusual bruising or bleeding
  • cough
  • congestion
  • fever
  • dizziness
  • chills
  • shortness of breath
  • sore throat
  • nausea and vomiting
  • rash
  • agitation, confusion, or hallucinations

If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online [at Web Site] or by phone [1-800-332-1088].

What should I do in case of OVERDOSE?

In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.

What OTHER INFORMATION should I know?

  • Drink plenty of fluids. Drink about ten 8-ounce (240-milliliter) glasses of fluid and urinate frequently during the first 24 hours after treatment to keep your kidneys working.

AHFS® Consumer Medication Information. © Copyright, The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Inc., 7272 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, Maryland. All Rights Reserved. Duplication for commercial use must be authorized by ASHP.

Last Reviewed: February 1, 2009.