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Ifosfamide (Ifex)

Article Translations: (Spanish)

How does this medicine work?

Ifosfamide (eye-foss-fuh-mide) destroys cancer cells in all phases of cell life.

How is it given?

It is given into the vein (IV) in the hospital or clinic.

What are the side effects?


  • low blood cell counts
  • nausea, vomiting
  • hair loss
  • feeling tired
  • loss of appetite


  • abnormal liver function
  • bladder irritation


  • kidney damage
  • confusion
  • sleepiness
  • seizures

When should I call the doctor?

  • fever
  • sore throat
  • cough
  • bleeding, bruising
  • mouth sores
  • continued vomiting
  • pain in the stomach, joints, or side
  • pain or blood with urination
  • seizures
  • shortness of breath

What else do I need to know?

All caregivers should wear gloves when handling urine, stool, and vomit while your child is receiving the chemotherapy and for 48 hours afterward. Urine, stool, and vomit can be safely disposed of in septic tanks and the sewer system.

Any clothing or bed linens that are contaminated with urine, stool, or vomit should be washed separately from other laundry in hot water and detergent. Anyone handling the contaminated laundry should wear gloves.

Blood counts are lowest in 1 to 2 weeks after the medicine is given.

Important: Ifosfamide is removed from the body through the kidneys. A high fluid intake will help prevent bladder irritation. Encourage your child to drink twice the normal amount of fluids for 24 hours after ifosfamide is given.

Encourage your child to urinate often.

Medicines may be given to help reduce nausea and vomiting.

To prevent bladder irritation, a medicine called mesna is given to protect the bladder, and IV fluids are given to flush the ifosfamide out of the bladder.

Good mouth care will help prevent mouth sores.

You and your child should know the names of all the medicines he or she is taking. Share this information with anyone involved in your child's care.

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


This is not specific to your child but provides general information. If you have any questions, please call the oncology clinic or pharmacy.

Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota
Last reviewed 8/2015

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This page is not specific to your child, but provides general information on the topic above. If you have any questions, please call your clinic. For more reading material about this and other health topics, please call or visit Children's Minnesota Family Resource Center library, or visit

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