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What is mesna?

Mesna (also known as Mesnex®) is a medicine used to prevent damage to the bladder that can be caused by some anticancer medicines. It is often given to patients receiving cyclophosphamide or ifosfamide. It is available as a clear liquid given into a vein (IV), but it can also be given by mouth as a 400-mg tablet or a liquid.

Possible side effects of mesna

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Headache
  • Bad taste in the mouth
  • Allergic reaction: may include rash, itching, hives, or trouble breathing

These are the most common side effects, but there may be others. Please report any side effect to your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist.

In case of severe side effects, call the doctor, nurse, or pharmacist at 901-595-3300. If you are outside the Memphis area, dial toll-free 1-866-2STJUDE (1-866-278-5833).

Special instructions for mesna

  • Mesna may not prevent bladder damage from anticancer medicines in all patients. Report blood in the urine to the doctor right away while you are receiving mesna.
  • Mesna is given each day of chemotherapy with set dosing times. Follow instructions closely.
  • It is important to drink lots of liquid while you are receiving mesna.
  • This medicine has a bad taste when taken by mouth. Mixing with a strong-tasting liquid such as juice or carbonated beverage can help.
  • Mesna may affect some lab tests, especially in patients with high blood sugar (diabetes).


This document is not intended to take the place of the care and attention of your personal physician or other professional medical services. Our aim is to promote active participation in your care and treatment by providing information and education. Questions about individual health concerns or specific treatment options should be discussed with your physician.

St. Jude complies with health care-related federal civil rights laws and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex.

ATTENTION: If you speak another language, assistance services, free of charge, are available to you. Call 1-866-278-5833 (TTY: 1-901-595-1040).

ATENCIÓN: si habla español, tiene a su disposición servicios gratuitos de asistencia lingüística. Llame al 1-866-278-5833 (TTY: 1-901-595-1040).

تنبيه: إذا كنت تتحدث باللغة العربية فيمكنك الاستعانة بخدمات المساعدة اللغوية المتوفرة لك مجانا. .يرجى الاتصال بالرقم. 5833-278-866-1  (الهاتف النصي: 1040-595-901-1).