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Matulane (Generic Procarbazine)

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Why is this medication prescribed?

Matulane is a brand name for the generic drug procarbazine. It is typically prescribed for the treatment of certain types of cancer, particularly Hodgkin’s lymphoma and certain types of brain tumors. Procarbazine is classified as an alkylating agent and works by interfering with the growth and spread of cancer cells in the body. The specific instructions for using Matulane can vary depending on the type and stage of cancer being treated.

How should this medicine be used?

Special precautions and considerations when taking Matulane include:

  • Pregnancy and Breastfeeding: Matulane can be harmful to a developing fetus, so it should not be used during pregnancy unless the potential benefits outweigh the risks. It is essential to use effective contraception during and for some time after Matulane treatment. Additionally, Matulane may pass into breast milk, so breastfeeding is not recommended while taking this medication.
  • Blood Cell Counts: Matulane can affect blood cell counts, including red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. Regular blood tests will be necessary to monitor these counts during treatment. Your doctor will adjust your treatment plan if significant changes occur.
  • Liver Function: Matulane can affect liver function. Patients with pre-existing liver problems should be closely monitored while taking this medication.
  • Interactions: Matulane can interact with other medications, supplements, and even certain foods. Inform your healthcare provider about all medications you are taking, including over-the-counter drugs and herbal supplements, to avoid potentially harmful interactions.
  • Neurologic Effects: Matulane may cause neurologic side effects, including dizziness, drowsiness, and confusion. It is important to avoid activities that require mental alertness, such as driving, until you know how Matulane affects you.
  • Allergies and Hypersensitivity: If you have a history of hypersensitivity or allergic reactions to procarbazine or any of the components of Matulane, inform your healthcare provider.
  • Pre-existing Medical Conditions: Discuss any pre-existing medical conditions you have with your doctor, as they may affect your ability to take Matulane safely.
  • Alcohol and Certain Foods: Matulane interacts with alcohol and certain foods (e.g., foods containing tyramine, such as aged cheeses, cured meats, and some alcoholic beverages) and can cause a dangerous increase in blood pressure. Your doctor will provide dietary guidelines to follow during treatment.

Always follow your healthcare provider’s instructions and advice regarding Matulane, including dosages, treatment duration, and any necessary precautions. Inform your doctor of any new or worsening side effects promptly. Regular follow-up visits and monitoring are essential during your Matulane treatment to ensure your safety and treatment efficacy.

Other uses for this medicine

Matulane (procarbazine) is primarily used in the treatment of cancer, specifically Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and is not typically prescribed for other medical conditions. It is considered a chemotherapy drug with a narrow range of applications due to its potential side effects and toxicity. Any use of Matulane for conditions other than cancer would be off-label and should only be considered under the guidance of a medical oncologist or specialist.

What special precautions should I follow?

Special Precautions for Matulane (Procarbazine):

  • Medical Supervision: Procarbazine should only be used under the close supervision of a healthcare professional who is experienced in the use of chemotherapy drugs.
  • Allergies: Inform your doctor of any allergies you have, especially if you are allergic to procarbazine or any other medications.
  • Pregnancy and Breastfeeding: Procarbazine can harm an unborn baby, so it should not be used during pregnancy. If you are breastfeeding, discuss the risks and benefits with your healthcare provider, as it may not be safe to breastfeed while taking this medication.
  • Blood Cell Counts: Procarbazine can affect your blood cell counts, increasing the risk of infections and bleeding. Your doctor will monitor your blood counts regularly during treatment.
  • Liver and Kidney Function: Your liver and kidney function may be monitored as well, as procarbazine can affect these organs.
  • Neurological Effects: Procarbazine can have neurological side effects, including dizziness, confusion, and sleep disturbances. Be cautious when operating heavy machinery or driving.
  • Avoid Alcohol: Alcohol consumption should be avoided while taking procarbazine, as it can increase the risk of side effects.
  • Drug Interactions: Inform your healthcare provider about all the medications, supplements, and herbal products you are taking, as procarbazine can interact with other drugs.
  • Fertility: Procarbazine may affect fertility in both men and women. Discuss fertility preservation options with your healthcare provider if you plan to have children in the future.

Always follow your healthcare provider’s instructions and guidance regarding Matulane (procarbazine) or any other medication. These precautions are general guidelines, and individual circumstances may vary, so it’s essential to have a thorough discussion with your healthcare team about the specific risks and benefits of this medication in your case.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

There are no specific dietary restrictions that must be followed when taking Matulane. However, it’s essential to maintain a balanced and nutritious diet to support your overall health and well-being during cancer treatment. Your healthcare provider or a registered dietitian may provide guidance on diet and nutrition based on your specific needs and any potential side effects of treatment.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

Regarding what to do if you forget a dose of Matulane:

  • If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember, unless it is close to the time for your next scheduled dose. In that case, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule.
  • Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one, as this can increase the risk of side effects.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Matulane (procarbazine) is associated with a range of potential side effects, some of which can be severe. It’s important to note that not everyone will experience these side effects, and the severity and frequency of side effects can vary from person to person. Your healthcare provider will monitor you closely during your treatment and can provide guidance on managing side effects. Here are some common side effects of Matulane:

Common Side Effects:

  • Nausea and Vomiting: Nausea and vomiting are common side effects of Matulane. Your doctor may prescribe anti-nausea medications to help manage these symptoms.
  • Loss of Appetite: Some people may experience a decreased appetite while taking Matulane, which can lead to weight loss.
  • Fatigue: Fatigue and weakness are common during cancer treatment and can be exacerbated by Matulane.
  • Dizziness and Drowsiness: Matulane can cause dizziness and drowsiness, affecting your ability to perform tasks that require mental alertness, such as driving.
  • Low Blood Cell Counts: Matulane can lead to low red blood cell counts (anemia), low white blood cell counts (neutropenia), and low platelet counts (thrombocytopenia). These can increase the risk of infections, fatigue, and bleeding.
  • Increased Sensitivity to Sunlight: Some people taking Matulane may become more sensitive to sunlight, leading to sunburn or skin rash more easily. It’s important to protect your skin from the sun and use sunscreen while on this medication.
  • Neurologic Effects: Matulane may cause neurologic symptoms, including confusion, mood changes, and depression. Inform your healthcare provider if you experience any of these changes.

Serious Side Effects:

  • Hypertensive Crisis: Matulane can interact with certain foods and beverages (tyramine-rich foods) and cause a sudden and severe increase in blood pressure, known as a hypertensive crisis. Symptoms may include severe headache, chest pain, shortness of breath, nausea, and blurred vision. This is a medical emergency, and you should seek immediate medical attention if you experience these symptoms.
  • Bone Marrow Suppression: Matulane can suppress bone marrow function, leading to a decreased production of blood cells. This can increase the risk of infections, anemia, and bleeding disorders.
  • Liver Problems: Matulane can affect liver function, leading to liver toxicity. Your healthcare provider will monitor your liver function during treatment.
  • Allergic Reactions: Allergic reactions to Matulane are rare but possible. Seek medical attention immediately if you experience signs of an allergic reaction, such as rash, itching, swelling, severe dizziness, or difficulty breathing.
  • Secondary Cancers: Long-term use of Matulane may increase the risk of developing secondary cancers.

It’s crucial to communicate any side effects or symptoms you experience to your healthcare provider promptly. They can adjust your treatment plan or provide supportive care to help manage side effects effectively. Additionally, regular check-ups and blood tests are essential to monitor your health and the impact of Matulane on your body during cancer treatment.

What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?

Storage and disposal of diphenhydramine:


  • Store in a Cool, Dry Place: Keep Matulane capsules in their original container, tightly closed, and stored at room temperature (between 68°F to 77°F or 20°C to 25°C). Protect them from moisture and light.
  • Keep Out of Reach of Children: Store Matulane in a location that is inaccessible to children and pets. This medication should only be taken by the individual it is prescribed for.
  • Avoid Exposure to Heat and Humidity: Do not store Matulane in the bathroom or near sources of heat or moisture.
  • Proper Labeling: Ensure the container is correctly labeled with the medication name and dosage to avoid confusion with other medications.


Proper disposal of Matulane is essential to prevent accidental ingestion by others and to minimize environmental impact. Here are some guidelines for disposing of this medication:

  • Dispose of Unused Medication: If you have unused Matulane, do not keep it beyond the prescribed treatment period. Contact your pharmacist or healthcare provider for guidance on how to safely dispose of any remaining medication.
  • Take-Back Programs: Check with your local pharmacy or healthcare facility for any medication take-back programs or disposal sites in your area. Many communities offer safe disposal options for expired or unused medications.
  • DO NOT Flush: Do not flush Matulane down the toilet or wash it down the sink unless specifically instructed to do so by the medication’s label or by a healthcare professional.

In case of emergency/overdose

In case of emergency or suspicion of an overdose of Matulane, seek immediate medical attention or contact your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222 (United States). Symptoms of an overdose may include severe nausea, vomiting, seizures, confusion, hallucinations, and loss of consciousness.

What other information should I know?

  • Matulane can interact with certain medications, foods, and beverages, as mentioned in previous responses. Inform your healthcare provider about all the medications and supplements you are taking to avoid potentially harmful interactions.
  • Keep a record of your Matulane dosages and treatment schedule to ensure you take the medication as prescribed.
  • Attend all scheduled medical appointments and laboratory tests to monitor your response to Matulane and assess for any potential side effects.
  • Inform your healthcare provider of any new or worsening symptoms or side effects during your treatment.
  • Follow your healthcare provider’s instructions for managing side effects, taking other medications as prescribed, and adhering to dietary restrictions while on Matulane.
  • If you have any questions or concerns about your Matulane treatment, don’t hesitate to reach out to your healthcare provider or oncology team for guidance and support. They can provide you with personalized information and assistance throughout your cancer treatment.
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