Procarbazine is used on its own or together with other medicines to treat Hodgkin’s disease (a type of cancer that starts from white blood cells called lymphocytes).
This medicine may be used to treat other conditions as decided by your doctor.
Take Procarbazine exactly as directed by your doctor or according to the instructions on the label. Do not take more or less than instructed by your doctor.
Try to take it at the same time each day.
The dose of this medicine will be decided by your doctor. Your doctor will advise you on the treatment timeframe depending on the severity of your condition and response to the medication.
Procarbazine must be taken regularly for it to be effective. Continue taking this medicine even when you feel better. Do not stop taking it unless instructed by the doctor.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and return to your normal dosing schedule.
DO NOT double a dose under any circumstances.
If you often forget to take your medicine, let your doctor and pharmacist know.
Alert your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- pre-existing blood disorders e.g. severe leucopenia (low white blood cell count), thrombocytopenia (lower than normal platelet counts in the blood)
- severe kidney disease
- severe liver disease
as Procarbazine may not be suitable for you.
Do not take this medicine if you are pregnant or planning to have a baby soon. If you become pregnant while being treated with Procarbazine, alert your doctor immediately. This medicine may cause harm to your unborn child. You must use proven birth control methods while taking Procarbazine.
Do not take this medicine if you are breastfeeding.
Inform your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- heart disease
- disease of the blood vessels supplying to the brain
- phaeochromocytoma (a rare tumour of the adrenal gland causing high blood pressure)
- epilepsy (fits or seizures)
- mild to moderate kidney disease
- mild to moderate liver disease
This medicine is not intended for the treatment of individuals with non-cancerous tumours.
Be sure to check with your doctor or pharmacist before giving Procarbazine to a child. Children may be more sensitive to the side effects.
Inform your doctor if you have been recently vaccinated. Do not receive any vaccinations without first asking your doctor.
Why is it important to keep my appointments with the doctor?
Keep your appointments with your doctor. Your doctor needs to monitor your condition and check your response to the medication regularly.
- Routine tests (e.g. complete blood count, liver and kidney function) may be done while you are being treated with this medicine. Your doctor will advise you about how often you need to have these tests.
- Regular monitoring for signs of infection may also be needed.
Procarbazine may cause any of the following side effects: nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, loss of appetite, fever, muscle pain and lack of energy.
Some side effects may need immediate medical help. Alert your doctor quickly if you experience any of the following:
- rashes, breathlessness, swelling of the face, eyes or mouth
- mouth ulcers, severe nausea, vomiting or diarrhoea
- feeling confused, numbness or tingling sensation in the hands and feet
This medicine may cause the level of your white blood cells and platelets to drop.
White blood cells help your body to fight infections. A fall in the level of your white blood cells may put you at higher risk for infections, such as coughs, colds and flu, which may lead to more serious infections. Avoid crowded places and people who are sick. Inform your doctor if you have a fever, or a cough or flu that does not go away.
Platelets help your blood to clot when there is a cut in the skin. A fall in the level of your platelets may put you at risk of bleeding more than usual. Do not take part in activities where you may fall or get injured, such as contact sports. Inform your doctor if you get any unusual bruising (large bruises or several bruises, especially if the bruises appeared on their own) or bleeding that takes a long time to stop (for example, too much bleeding when you floss or brush your teeth).
Inform your doctor if any of these side effects do not go away or are severe, or if you experience other side effects.
Inform your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any of these medicines:
- medicines to treat depression e.g. amitriptyline, imipramine
- phenytoin (medicine for fits or seizures)
- pethidine (strong painkiller)
- clozapine (medicine for mood disorders)
This list does not include all medicines that may interact with Procarbazine.
Avoid live vaccinations during or within at least 6 months of treatment with this medicine. Inform your doctor if you have been recently vaccinated or if you are planning to get vaccinated.
Always notify your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including herbal tonics such as traditional Chinese medicines, supplements and medicines that you buy without a prescription.
Avoid alcohol and other drinks that contain tyramine such as red wine and beer.
Avoid foods that are rich in tyramine, such as cheese, sausages, soya beans, fava beans, broad beans and pickled foods like sauerkraut. Ask your doctor or dietitian about the types of food you should avoid.
Store in a cool, dry place away from the reach of children.
Protect from light.
Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.
As Procarbazine is a cancer medicine, always return any unused or expired capsules to the clinic, hospital, or pharmacy for disposal. Do not throw it away in the household waste.