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
- 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
- fatigue (tiredness)
- 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
- secondary cancer