Mesna (Mesnex)

The basics

Mesna (brand name-Mesnex) is an FDA-approved treatment for hemorrhagic cystitis (a condition that causes inflammation of the bladder and can result in serious bleeding) in people who receive ifosfamide (a medication used for the treatment of cancer).

Mesna is in a class of medications called cytoprotectants. It works by protecting the bladder against some of the harmful effects of certain chemotherapy medications.

Let us walk you through the key things you need to know about mesna.

How should I take mesna (Mesnex)?

Ankr helps take oral chemotherapy on time

Mesna comes as a tablet to take by mouth. The first dose of mesna is usually given as an injection into your vein while you receive your chemotherapy treatment. After that, your doctor may choose to continue your treatment with mesna tablets. Take mesna exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or more often than your doctor prescribes.

If you vomit less than 2 hours after you take a dose of mesna tablets, call your doctor right away. Drink at least 1 quart (4 cups; about 1 liter) of liquid daily while taking mesna tablets. Ask your pharmacist or doctor for a copy of the manufacturer’s information for the patient.

Do not stop taking mesna without talking to your doctor. You can help them by tracking your side effects in Ankr.

What are the side effects of mesna (Mesnex)?


Serious side effects

  • Pink or red colored urine
  • Blood in urine
  • Swelling of the face, arms, or legs
  • Difficulty breathing or swallowing
  • Chest Pain
  • Fast, irregular, or pounding heartbeat
  • Unusual bleeding or bruising

Mesna may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication. If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online or by phone (1-800-332-1088).

Use the free Ankr platform or Ankr app to track your symptoms.

What special precautions should I follow?

Before taking mesna (Mesnex)

  • tell your doctor about your allergies
  • tell your doctor about other intakes
  • tell your doctor if you have or have ever had any other disease, symptom, or treatment
  • tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding.

While you are on mesna (mesnex)

  • if you or your partner becomes pregnant while taking mesna, call your doctor immediately. Mesna may harm the fetus.
  • tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding. You should not breastfeed during your treatment with mesna.

I forgot a dose. What should I do?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. Call your doctor right away for more instructions. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.

In case of an emergency/overdose

In case of overdose, call the poison control helpline at 1-800-222-1222. Information is also available online at If the victim has collapsed, had a seizure, has trouble breathing, or can’t be awakened, immediately call emergency services at 911.

How should I safely store and dispose of mesna (Mesnex)?

Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom).

You should not flush this medication down the toilet. Instead, the best way to dispose of your medication is through a medicine take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage/recycling department to learn about take-back programs in your community. See the FDA’s Safe Disposal of Medicines website ( for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.

To protect young children from poisoning, always lock safety caps and immediately place the medication in a safe location – one that is up and away and out of their sight and reach.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.

Brand names

  • Mesnex®

Other names

  • Sodium 2-mercaptoethanesulfonate

Last Revised -06/18/2023, FDA updated- 01/15/2017, SG

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DISCLAIMER: No part of this content constitutes medical advice, opinion, or should be used for medical decision making without consultation with a licenced medical practitioner and under a patient-provider relationship. All information on the website is provided without any claims of accuracy. For full terms and conditions, visit this link. Content curated by the Ankr team.

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