Ifosfamide is an alkylating agent and works by sticking the cancer cell’s DNA (the cell’s genetic code) together so that it cannot come apart again. This means that the cell cannot divide and grow.

On this page:


  • Burkitt lymphoma in adults 65 years of age or younger
  • Relapsed or refractory Hodgkin lymphoma
  • Transplant eligible patients for both salvage and peripheral blood stem cell mobilisation
  • Newly diagnosed stage IV or relapsed/refractory extranodal natural killer/T-cell lymphoma
  • Relapsed or refractory non-Hodgkin lymphoma
  • Relapsed or refractory CD20 positive B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma


The amount of ifosfamide depends on many factors including:

  • Height and weight
  • General health or other health problems
  • Type of lymphoma being treated


Ifosfamide is given by intravenous (into a vein) infusion and the dosage and schedule are determined by the person’s size and type of cancer. Neurological functions are assessed at baseline and prior to each ifosfamide dose. Patients and carers should be advised of possible neurotoxicity and symptoms may include sleepiness, confusion, and hallucinations

It is recommended not to take sleeping tablets or sedatives during the administration of this drug as it is harder to assess for the above symptoms.

Ifosfamide may also irritate the bladder and cause discomfort when passing urine. Patients should u drink at least 2-3 litres of fluids during the 24 hours after chemotherapy. It is also important to:

  • Pass urine regularly (at least every 2-4 hours for 24 hours after infusion)
  • Try to pass urine as soon as you feel the need to
  • Patients are given fluids through a drip (infusion) and another drug to help prevent bladder irritation.


The nurse or doctor should be advised immediately if any of the following occur:

  • Feel any discomfort or stinging when passing urine
  • Notice any blood in the urine.


Do not drink alcohol whilst on Ifosfamide as alcohol may worsen some side effects of Ifosfamide, such as nausea, vomiting and dizziness.

Do not eat grapefruit or drink grapefruit juice whilst on Ifosfamide as grapefruit may interact with Ifosfamide and cause it not to work as well.

Possible side-effects

  • Nausea or vomiting (may be severe)
  • Bladder irritation
  • Diarrhoea
  • Stomach/abdominal pain
  • Loss of appetite
  • Injection site reactions (redness, pain, or swelling)
  • Mouth sores
  • Temporary hair loss
  • Low white cell count- increased risk of infection
  • Anaemia (low red blood cells)
  • Thrombocytopenia (low platelets)- increased risk of bleeding
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