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You are here : 3-RX.com > Drugs & Medications > Quick Drug Information (DrugNotes) > Procarbazine (Oral)

Procarbazine (By Mouth)

Procarbazine (proe-KAR-ba-zeen)

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

Brand Name(s):

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:


  • This medicine, like all medicines used to treat cancer, is very strong. Make sure you understand why you are getting it and what the risks and benefits of treatment are. It is important for you to work closely with your doctor.
  • Your doctor will prescribe your exact dose and tell you how often you should take the medicine. Make sure you understand your doctor's instructions.
  • If you vomit right after you take this medicine, call your doctor for instructions.

If a dose is missed:

  • Take the missed dose as soon as you remember.
  • Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Take your medicine at your usual time.
  • You should not use two doses at the same time.
How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine:

  • Store the medicine at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children.
Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

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

  • Do not drink alcohol or take any product that has alcohol in it while you are taking procarbazine and for several days after your last dose. You may have flushing, nausea, vomiting, or headache if you drink any alcohol while being treated with procarbazine.
  • Avoid taking aspirin or any product that has aspirin in it.
  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are taking sleeping pills, cold or allergy medicine (including nasal sprays), strong pain killers, tranquilizers, muscle relaxants, or medicine to treat depression (such as Elavil® or Tofranil®) before you take procarbazine.
  • Certain foods and drinks may cause high blood pressure if taken 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.
  • Avoid drinking large amounts of liquids that have caffeine (like coffee, tea, and soda pop).
  • Talk to your doctor before getting any vaccines (such as flu shots).
Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Do not breastfeed while you are being treated with this medicine.
  • Tell your doctor if you have liver or kidney disease before you take procarbazine.
  • You may get infections more easily while getting this medicine. Stay away from crowds and people with colds, flu, or other infections.
  • Procarbazine can cause nausea and vomiting. Your doctor may prescribe medicine to keep you from feeling sick and throwing up. If the medicine does not help (you can't keep liquids down), call your doctor.
  • Do not get pregnant while you or your sexual partner are taking procarbazine. Use an effective form of birth control while you are being treated with this medicine.
  • If you are pregnant, talk to your doctor before you start your treatments.
  • Some cancer drugs may make you sterile (unable to have children), whether you are a man or woman. If you plan to have children someday, talk with your doctor before you start your treatments.
Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Fever, chills, or sore throat
  • Unusual bleeding or bruising
  • Severe mouth sores that keep you from drinking liquids
  • Severe diarrhea
  • Numb or tingling feet
  • Confusion
  • Wheezing or trouble breathing
  • Severe rash or hives

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

  • Loss of appetite
  • Headache, tiredness
If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor.

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