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Generic NameBrand Name
ifosfamideIfex, Ifosfamide

Ifosfamide is a chemotherapy medicine used to treat testicular cancer and other cancers.

How It Works

Ifosfamide interferes with a cell's ability to divide and reproduce, resulting in the death of the cell.

Why It Is Used

Ifosfamide is used to slow or stop the spread of cancer cells in the body.

How Well It Works

Ifosfamide is an effective antitumor medicine. But the type and extent of a cancer determines how effectively this medicine slows or stops the growth of cancer cells in the body.

Side Effects

All medicines have side effects. But many people don't feel the side effects, or they are able to deal with them. Ask your pharmacist about the side effects of each medicine you take. Side effects are also listed in the information that comes with your medicine.

Here are some important things to think about:

  • Usually the benefits of the medicine are more important than any minor side effects.
  • Side effects may go away after you take the medicine for a while.
  • If side effects still bother you and you wonder if you should keep taking the medicine, call your doctor. He or she may be able to lower your dose or change your medicine. Do not suddenly quit taking your medicine unless your doctor tells you to.

Call 911 or other emergency services right away if you have:

  • Trouble breathing.
  • Hives.
  • Swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • Blood in your urine, frequent urination, or painful urination.
  • Fever or chills with or without cough, hoarseness, or lower back or side pain.

Call your doctor right away if you have:

  • Strong feelings of restlessness, confusion, or are seeing, hearing, or feeling things that are not there.
  • Unusual tiredness or dizziness.
  • Redness, swelling, or pain at the place where this medicine was injected.

Common side effects of this medicine include:

  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Loss of hair. This should grow back after your treatment is over.

See Drug Reference for a full list of side effects. (Drug Reference is not available in all systems.)

What To Think About

Ifosfamide should be administered only under the supervision of a medical oncologist or gynecologic oncologist.

Taking ifosfamide can increase your chances of getting an infection, so do your best to stay away from sick people. It may also keep your blood from clotting normally, so be very careful when using sharp objects.

You may not be able to become pregnant or father a child after taking this medicine. Discuss fertility with your doctor before starting treatment.

Ifosfamide can cause birth defects. Do not use this medicine if you are pregnant or wish to become pregnant or father a child while you are taking it.

If you have an infection or kidney or liver disease, talk to your doctor before taking etoposide. And let your doctor know if you have had shingles or chickenpox (or have recently been exposed to chickenpox).

Complete the new medication information form (PDF) (What is a PDF document?) to help you understand this medication.


By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Christopher G. Wood, MD, FACS - Urology, Oncology
Last Revised March 16, 2011

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.