Procarbazine (By mouth)

Introduction

Procarbazine (proe-KAR-ba-zeen)

Usually used with other cancer medicines to treat Hodgkin's disease.

Brand Name(s)

Matulane

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

You should not be treated with this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to procarbazine or if you have certain blood disorders or bone marrow problems.

How to Use This Medicine

Capsule

  • 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.
  • Your doctor will tell you how much of this medicine to use and how often. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to.

If a dose is missed:

  • This medicine needs to be given on a fixed schedule. If you miss a dose, call your doctor for instructions.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine

  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any leftover medicine after you have finished your treatment. You will also need to throw away old medicine after the expiration date has passed.
  • Keep all medicine away from children and never share your medicine with anyone.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

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

  • Tell your doctor if you are using any medicines that make you sleepy. These include sleeping pills, cold and allergy medicine, narcotic pain relievers, and sedatives.
  • Avoid taking aspirin or any product that has aspirin in it. Make sure your doctor knows about all other medicines that you are using.
  • Do not drink alcohol while you are using this medicine. You may have flushing, nausea, vomiting, or headache if you drink any alcohol while being treated with procarbazine.
  • Certain foods and drinks may cause high blood pressure if used with procarbazine. Some of these are: cheese, sour cream, Chianti wine, sherry, beer, liqueurs, anchovies, caviar, liver, raisins, bananas, avocados, chocolate, soy sauce, yeast, yogurt, and meats prepared with tenderizers.
  • Talk to your doctor before getting any vaccines (such as flu shots).
  • Tell your doctor if you have ever been treated with steroids, chemotherapy, or radiation for cancer.

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • This medicine can cause birth defects if it is used by the mother while she is pregnant or by the father when his sexual partner becomes pregnant. If a pregnancy occurs while you are using this medicine, tell your doctor right away. Use an effective form of birth control while you are being treated with this medicine.
  • If you plan to have children, talk with your doctor before using this medicine. Some men and women using this medicine have become infertile (unable to have children).
  • Tell your doctor if you are breast feeding, or if you have kidney or liver disease.
  • This medicine lowers the number of some types of blood cells in your body. Because of this, you may bleed or get infections more easily. To help with these problems, avoid being near people who are sick or have infections. Wash your hands often. Stay away from rough sports or other situations where you could be bruised, cut, or injured. Brush and floss your teeth gently. Be careful when using sharp objects, including razors and fingernail clippers.
  • Your doctor will need to check your progress at regular visits while you are using this medicine. Be sure to keep all appointments.
  • 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.
  • Taking this medicine with other medicines used to treat cancer may increase your risk of developing another type of cancer. The chance of developing lung cancer is much higher in people who smoke. You can reduce your risk by not smoking. Talk to your doctor about this risk.

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, uneven heartbeat, shortness of breath, or numbness or tingling in your hands, feet, or lips.
  • Fever, chills, or sore throat.
  • Severe diarrhea.
  • Severe mouth sores that keep you from drinking liquids.
  • Severe rash.
  • Skin or whites of your eyes turn yellow.
  • Unusual bleeding, bruising, or weakness.

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

  • Headache, dizziness.
  • Loss of appetite, stomach pain, or dry mouth.
  • Mild nausea or vomiting.

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 06/12/2013

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This page was last updated: June 18, 2013

         
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