How does this medicine work?

Procarbazine (pro-kar-ba-zeen) is a chemotherapy medicine used in the treatment of Hodgkin’s disease, non- Hodgkin’s lymphoma, brain tumors, and lung cancer. It destroys cancer cells by interfering with a specific phase of cell life.

How should I give it?

Procarbazine comes in capsule form, usually given once a day. Your child should be awake and alert when taking any medicine.
For children who cannot swallow pills:

  • Put on gloves.
  • Open capsule inside a clear plastic bag.
  • Mix the powder with a very small amount of soft food, such as applesauce or jelly. Make sure your child takes all of the mixture.
  • Discard the plastic bag. Wash the dishes right after using. Discard the gloves.

Are there any precautions about food or other medicines?

Check with the doctor, nurse practitioner, or pharmacist before giving any other prescription or non-prescription medicines, herbs, or vitamins. Avoid giving antihistamines, barbiturates, narcotics, or antidepressants.

It is best to give procarbazine with food or after meals to avoid stomach upset.

Do not give foods containing tyramine while your child is taking procarbazine and for 2 weeks after stopping it. Tyramine interacts with procabazine causing a serious increase in blood pressure. Some tyramine- containing foods are listed below. Please talk to the dietician if you have any questions.

Dairy products to avoid

  • aged cheeses (processed cheese is okay)
  • pizza and other foods with cheese

Meats and fish to avoid

  • aged meats
  • air dried sausage, such as salami

Fruits and vegetables to avoid

  • banana peels
  • fava beans
  • snowpea pods
  • sauerkraut
  • soy products such as soy sauce
  • yeast extracts (marmite)

Avoid all foods and beverages containing alcohol.

What should I do if a dose is missed?

If a dose is missed, give it as soon as you remember that day. Never give a double dose.

If your child vomits within 30 minutes after receiving a dose, give it again. If your child vomits after 30 minutes, do not repeat the dose. Call the oncology clinic if more than one dose is missed or vomited.

What are the side effects?


  • low blood cell counts
  • nausea or vomiting
  • loss of appetite


  • dry mouth, mouth sores
  • diarrhea
  • fatigue (tiredness)
  • dizziness
  • head or muscle aches
  • fever, chills
  • hair loss
  • numbness or tingling of hands or feet
  • reddened face
  • rash or itchy skin
  • decreased fertility


  • eye irritation
  • sterility
  • secondary cancer

When should I call the clinic?

Call hematology helpline 982403210 if:

  • mouth sores
  • continued vomiting
  • reddened face
  • bleeding or bruising
  • black, tarry stool
  • blood in urine, stool, or vomit
  • coughing or hoarseness
  • fever or chills
  • severe headache
  • stiff neck
  • sore throat
  • tightness in chest or throat
  • fast, pounding heartbeat

What else do I need to know?

All caregivers should wear gloves when handling urine, stool, and vomit while your Blood samples may be needed to check the effects of the procarbazine. Blood counts may drop about 28 days after starting therapy, but should be normal by 42 days.

Nausea and vomiting should decrease as your child gets used to the medicine.

You and your child should know the names of all the medicines he or she is taking. It is important to share this information with anyone involved in your child’s care.

Always make sure you have enough medicine on hand as the pharmacy may need 2 or 3 days to refill the prescription. Check the label for the expiration date.
Flush outdated medicines down the toilet instead of putting them in the garbage.

Store all medicines in their original container and away from direct sunlight or heat. Do not store in humid places such as the bathroom. Keep them out of children’s reach, locked up if possible.

If too much or the wrong kind of chemotherapy medicine is taken, call the oncology clinic immediately.


This sheet is not specific to your child but provides general information. If you have any questions, please call:

Hematology Clinic
3rd floor, Kedar
Opp.Krupa Petrol Pump,
Parimal Garden, Ambawadi
Clinic: 07926463219
Whattsapp: 8238065890