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Procarbazine oral

Updated 2 Feb 2023 | Procarbazine


Oral formulations of procarbazine hydrochloride

Drugs List

  • procarbazine 50mg capsules
  • Therapeutic Indications


    Hodgkin's disease
    Malignant neoplasms


    Whilst the doses stated below are those recommended by the manufacturer, local cancer network protocols for the relevant indication should be consulted.


    Induction of remission
    50 mg on day 1, increasing by 50 mg daily to a maximum daily dose of 250 - 300 mg divided (as evenly as possible) throughout the day.
    Continue at this dose until the greatest possible remission has been obtained, then reduce to maintenance dose.

    Maintenance dose:
    50-150 mg daily. Maintenance treatment should be continued until a total dose of at least 6 g has been given.

    Combination therapy:
    As per protocol. Most commonly - 100 mg/square metre of body surface (to the nearest 50 mg) on the first 10-14 days of each cycle, in repeated 4 to 6 weekly cycles.


    (See Dosage; Adult)


    The manufacturer advises that doses in children aged 2 to 18 years may be based on 100 mg/square metre of body surface for up to 14 days, in adherence with local treatment protocols.


    Children under 2 years
    Renal impairment - creatinine clearance below 10ml/minute
    Severe hepatic impairment
    Severe leucopenia

    Precautions and Warnings

    Cardiovascular disorder
    Cerebrovascular disorder
    Epileptic disorder
    Hepatic impairment
    Renal impairment

    Live virus vaccine should not be given for 6 months after treatment
    Wear protective clothing if handling urine passed up to 48hrs after therapy
    Advise ability to drive/operate machinery may be affected by side effects
    Give pre-treatment counselling and consideration of sperm cryopreservation
    Treatment should be initiated in hospital
    Consult local policy on the safe use of oral anti-cancer drugs
    Staff: Not to be handled by pregnant staff
    Treatment to be administered by or under supervision of specialist
    Perform regular white blood cell and platelet counts
    Interrupt treatment if allergic skin reactions occur
    Suspend treatment if platelet count falls below 80,000 per cubic mm
    Suspend treatment if white blood cell count falls below 3,000 per cubic mm
    Advise patient that alcohol ingestion may cause a disulfiram-like reaction
    Advise patient to avoid foods or beverages with a high tyramine content
    Male & female: May cause infertility
    Male & female: Ensure adequate contraception during treatment

    Pregnancy and Lactation


    Contraindicated in pregnancy.

    Isolated human foetal malformations have been reported following therapy during 1st trimester. The molecular weight indicates that transmission across the placenta should be expected.

    Procarbazine has been shown to be mutagenic, carcinogenic and teratogenic in animals.

    In combination therapy, the impact of concurrent therapies must also be considered.

    The use of all medication in pregnancy should be avoided whenever possible; particularly in the first trimester. Non-drug treatments should also be considered. When essential, a medication with the best safety record over time should be chosen, employing the lowest effective dose for the shortest possible time. Polypharmacy should be avoided. Teratogens taken in the pre-embryonic period, often quoted as lasting until 14-17 days post-conception, are believed to have an all-or-nothing effect. Where drugs have a short half-life, and when the date of conception is certain, this may allow women to be reassured where drug exposure has occurred within this time frame. Further advice may be available from the UK National Teratology Information Service (NTIS) and through ToxBase, available via password on the internet ( ) or if this is unavailable at the backup site ( ).


    Contraindicated in breastfeeding.

    The molecular weight is low enough that excretion into breast milk is likely and because of the potential for tumorigenesis, breastfeeding should be discontinued during treatment.

    Neonates, infants born prematurely, those with low birth weight, those with an unstable gastrointestinal function or who have serious illnesses may require special consideration. For any infant, if a drug is prescribed to the nursing mother, it should be at the lowest practical dose and for the shortest time. When drug administration is unavoidable and breastfeeding is to continue, minimisation of exposure of the infant to the drug may sometimes be achieved by timing the maternal doses to just after a feeding episode. Infants exposed to drugs via breast milk should be monitored for unusual signs or symptoms. Interactions between the drug received by the infant from the mother's milk and medication prescribed for the infant should also be considered, for example, when the drug given to the infant may prevent metabolism of the drug received via breast milk.
    Specialist advice is available from the UK Drugs in Lactation Advisory Service at

    Side Effects

    Allergic skin reactions
    Altered liver function tests
    Decreased appetite
    Increased risk of neoplasms
    Ovarian failure


    It is strongly recommended that the UK National Poisons Information Service be consulted on cases of suspected or actual overdose where there is doubt over the degree of risk or about appropriate management.

    The following number will direct the caller to the relevant local centre (0844) 892 0111

    Information may be obtained if you have access to ToxBase the primary clinical toxicology database of the National Poisons Information Service. This is available via password on the internet ( ) or if this is unavailable at the backup site ( ).

    Further Information

    Last Full Review Date: February 2013

    Reference Sources

    British National Formulary, 64th Edition (2012) Pharmaceutical Press, London.

    BNF for Children (2012-2013) Pharmaceutical Press, London.

    Drugs in Pregnancy and Lactation: A Reference Guide to Fetal and Neonatal Risk, 9th edition (2011) ed. Briggs, G., Freeman, R. and Yaffe, S. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Philadelphia.

    Martindale: The Complete Drug Reference, 37th edition (2011) ed. Sweetman, S. Pharmaceutical Press, London.

    Summary of Product Characteristics: Procarbazine Capsules 50 mg. Alliance Pharmaceuticals. Revised March 2014.

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    Medscape UK | Univadis prescription drug monographs & interactions are based on FDB Multilex Content

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    FDB Disclaimer : FDB Multilex is intended for the use of healthcare professionals and is provided on the basis that the healthcare professionals will retain FULL and SOLE responsibility for deciding what treatment to prescribe or dispense for any particular patient or circumstance.