Procarbazine (By mouth)


Procarbazine (proe-KAR-ba-zeen)

Treats Hodgkin disease.

Brand Name(s)


When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

How to Use This Medicine


  • Medicines used to treat cancer are very strong and can have many side effects. Before receiving this medicine, make sure you understand all the risks and benefits. It is important for you to work closely with your doctor during your treatment.
  • Take your medicine as directed.
  • Missed dose: This medicine needs to be given on a fixed schedule. If you miss a dose, call your doctor for instructions.
  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • There are many medicines that you should not use together with procarbazine. Make sure your doctor knows about all other medicines you are using.
  • Do not drink alcohol while you are using this medicine.
  • Avoid foods and drinks that are high in tyramine. Your doctor should give you a complete list of these. In general, do not eat products that are aged or fermented, such as aged cheese, most alcohol, cured meat (such as salami), sauerkraut, and soy sauce. Check the expiration dates on packages. Tyramine levels get higher as food gets older or if it has not been refrigerated properly. If you have too much tyramine while you are using this medicine, your blood pressure could get dangerously high.
  • Tell your doctor if you use anything else that makes you sleepy. Some examples are allergy medicine, narcotic pain medicine, and alcohol.
  • This medicine may interfere with vaccines. Ask your doctor before you get a flu shot or any other vaccines.
  • Tell your doctor if you have ever been treated for cancer with a steroid, chemotherapy, or radiation.

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • This medicine may cause birth defects if either partner is using it during conception or pregnancy. Tell your doctor right away if you or your partner becomes pregnant. Use an effective form of birth control while you are being treated with this medicine.
  • This medicine could cause infertility. Talk with your doctor before using this medicine if you plan to have children.
  • Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding, or if you have anemia or similar low blood cell counts. Tell your doctor if you have kidney disease or liver disease.
  • This medicine may make you bleed, bruise, or get infections more easily. Take precautions to prevent illness and injury. Wash your hands often.
  • Cancer medicines can cause nausea and/or vomiting in most people, sometimes even after receiving medicines to prevent it. Ask your doctor or nurse about other ways to control these side effects.
  • This medicine may cause a second form of cancer when it is used together with other cancer medicines. This includes lung cancer, and the risk is higher in people who smoke. Talk with your doctor about your situation.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Confusion
  • Fever, chills, cough, sore throat, and body aches
  • Numbness or tingling in your hands, feet, or lips
  • Severe diarrhea
  • Sores or white patches on your lips, mouth, or throat
  • Unusual bleeding, bruising, or weakness

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Mild nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Version Info

  • Last reviewed on 7/4/2015

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