Procarbazine: Uses, Dosage, Side Effects, Price, Composition, Precautions & More

What Is Procarbazine?

Procarbazine hydrochloride is an anticancer drug which is usually used for treating Hodgkin’s disease.

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Uses Of Procarbazine

Procarbazine is mainly used for treatment of Hodgkin’s disease. Other uses include non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, brain tumors, melanoma, lung cancer, and multiple myeloma.

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How Does Procarbazine Work?

The ability of chemotherapy to kill cancer cells depends on its ability to halt cell division. The drug works by damaging the RNA or DNA that tells the cell how to copy itself in division.If the cells are unable to divide, they die. The faster the cells are dividing, the more likely it is that chemotherapy will kill the cells, causing the tumor to shrink. The drug also induce cell suicide (self-death or apoptosis).


How to Take Procarbazine?

Procarbazine is taken in capsule form by mouth.  It comes in 50 mg capsule strength.

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Common Dosage Of Procarbazine

The amount of Procarbazine you will receive depends on many factors, including your height and weight, your general health or other health problems, and the type of cancer you have.  Your doctor will determine your exact dosage and schedule.


When to Avoid Procarbazine& Precautions To Take?

Procarbazine is contraindicated in case of pre-existing severe leucopenia or thrombocytopenia from any cause; severe hepatic or renal damage.

Procarbazine should not be used in the management of non-malignant disease.

Procarbazine is contraindicated during the first trimester of pregnancy and during breast-feeding.

Caution is advisable in patients with hepatic or renal dysfunction and Procarbazine should be avoided in patients with severe hepatic or renal disease. Its use should be avoided if creatinine clearance is less than 10mL/min. Caution is also advised in cardiovascular or cerebrovascular disease, phaeochromocytoma, or epilepsy.

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Side Effects Of Procarbazine

Nausea, vomiting and loss of appetite may occur early in the therapy.

The following are less common side effects (occurring in 10 -29%) for patients receiving Procarbazine:

  • Anemia
  • Hair loss
  • Mouth sores
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Flu-like symptoms (fever, chills, generalized aches and pains)usually appear in the first few days of treatment.
  • Symptoms of central neurotoxicity include weakness, loss of balance, headache, unsteadiness, drowsiness or dizziness.

Effect on Organs?

Procarbazine may cause leucopenia and thrombocytopenia.

Procarbazine may impair renalandhepatic function.

Procarbazine may cause infertility in both sexes of patients.

Procarbazine may impair immune system of the body.


Reported Allergic Reactions?

Symptoms of allergic reaction to Procarbazine include shortness of breath, wheezing, difficulty breathing, closing up of the throat, swelling of facial features, hives etc.


Drug Interactions to be careful about?

Some products that may interact with this drug are:

  • Diet pills/appetite suppressants (such as diethylpropion)
  • Drugs for attention deficit hyperactivity-ADHD (such as atomoxetine, methylphenidate)
  • Apraclonidine
  • Bupropion
  • Buspirone
  • Carbamazepine
  • Cyclobenzaprine
  • Deutetrabenazine
  • Dextromethorphan
  • Methyldopa
  • Tetrabenazine
  • Valbenazine
  • Certain narcotic medications (such as meperidine, methadone, tapentadol)
  • Certain supplements (such as tryptophan, tyramine)
  • Certain “triptans” used to treat migraine headaches (such as rizatriptan, sumatriptan)
  • Certain drugs for Parkinson’s disease (entacapone, levodopa, tolcapone).

Shows Effects/Results In

Procarbazine shows it’s cytotoxic effect within 0.5 to 1 hr of consumption.


Storage Requirements for Procarbazine

Store at room temperature, away from heat and direct sunlight.

Keep away from reach of children and pets.


Pro Tips When Taking Procarbazine

Drink 2 to 3 quarts of fluid every 24 hours, unless you were told to restrict your fluid intake, and maintain good nutrition. This will decrease your chances of being constipated, and prevent dehydration.

For flu-like symptoms, keep warm with blankets and drink plenty of liquids.

Procarbazine should be given only under the supervision of a physician who is experienced in cancer chemotherapy and having facilities for regular monitoring of clinical and haematological effects during and after administration.


Frequently Asked Questions

Is Procarbazine addictive?

No

Can I have Procarbazine with alcohol?

No

Any particular food item to be avoided?

  • Avoid caffeine (as found in coffee, tea, colas, and chocolate), beer (even some non-alcoholic brands)
  • Avoid beverages such as red wine, sherry, distilled spirits, and all liqueurs.
  • Avoid most types of strong, aged cheeses and yogurt.
  • Stay away from fava beans; especially if they are over ripened).
  • Avoid anchovies, shrimp paste, caviar, beef and chicken livers, or wild game meat. Also avoid using meat extracts, or meat or fish (including dried fish, sausage, bologna, pepperoni, and salami) that is fermented, spoiled, kept un-refrigerated, pickled, prepared with tenderizers, or smoked.
  • Avoid certain fruits like raspberries, figs (either canned or overripe), bananas, dried fruit such as raisins and prunes, avocados.
  • Stay away from miso soup (soybean soup), soy sauce and sauerkraut.

Can I have Procarbazine when pregnant?

No

Can I have Procarbazine when feeding a baby?

No

Can I drive after taking Procarbazine?

No

What happens if I overdose on Procarbazine?

Signs of overdosage include severe nausea and vomiting, dizziness, hallucinations, depression and convulsions; hypotension or tachycardia may occur.Seek immediate medical attention in such cases.

What happens if I eat expired Procarbazine?

No major side effect is seen upon consumption of a single dose of expired medicine. However, if you notice any severe side effects, immediately inform your doctor.

What happens if I miss a dose of Procarbazine?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember.

If it’s almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose


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