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Home / Drugs / Starting with I / Ifosfamide

Positional isomer of cyclophosphamide which is active as an alkylating agent and an immunosuppressive agent. [PubChem]
Holoxan 1000
CategoriesAntineoplastic Agents
Immunosuppressive Agents
Antineoplastic Agents, Alkylating
ManufacturersBaxter healthcare corp
App pharmaceuticals llc
Teva parenteral medicines inc
Bedford laboratories div ben venue laboratories inc
Sagent strides llc
PackagersAPP Pharmaceuticals
Baxter International Inc.
Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd.
SynonymsAsta Z 4942
Ifosfamide Sterile


Used as a component of various chemotherapeutic regimens as third-line therapy for recurrent or refractory germ cell testicular cancer. Also used as a component of various chemotherapeutic regimens for the treatment of cervical cancer, as well as in conjunction with surgery and/or radiation therapy in the treatment of various soft tissue sarcomas. Other indications include treatment of osteosarcoma, bladder cancer, ovarian cancer. small cell lung cancer, and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.


Ifosfamide requires activation by microsomal liver enzymes to active metabolites in order to exert its cytotoxic effects. Activation occurs by hydroxylation at the ring carbon atom 4 to form the unstable intermediate 4-hydroxyifosfamide. This metabolite than rapidly degrades to the stable urinary metabolite 4-ketoifosfamide. The stable urinary metabolite, 4-carboxyifosfamide, is formed upon opening of the ring. These urinary metabolites have not been found to be cytotoxic. N, N-bis (2-chloroethyl)-phosphoric acid diamide (ifosphoramide) and acrolein are also found. The major urinary metabolites, dechloroethyl ifosfamide and dechloroethyl cyclophosphamide, are formed upon enzymatic oxidation of the chloroethyl side chains and subsequent dealkylation. It is the alkylated metabolites of ifosfamide that have been shown to interact with DNA. Ifosfamide is cycle-phase nonspecific.

mechanism of action

The exact mechanism of ifosfamide has not been determined, but appears to be similar to other alkylating agents. Ifosfamide requires biotransformation in the liver by mixed-function oxidases (cytochrome P450 system) before it becomes active. After metabolic activation, active metabolites of ifosfamide alkylate or bind with many intracellular molecular structures, including nucleic acids. The cytotoxic action is primarily through the alkylation of DNA, done by attaching the N-7 position of guanine to its reactive electrophilic groups. The formation of inter and intra strand cross-links in the DNA results in cell death.


LD50 (mouse) = 390-1005 mg/kg, LD50 (rat) = 150-190 mg/kg. Side effects include nausea, vomiting and myelosuppression. Toxic effects include central nervous system toxicity (confusion, hallucinations) and urotoxic effects (cystitis, blood in urine).


Primarily hepatic

half life

7-15 hours

route of elimination

Ifosfamide is extensively metabolized in humans and the metabolic pathways appear to be saturated at high doses. After administration of doses of 5 g/m2 of 14C-labeled ifosfamide, from 70% to 86% of the dosed radioactivity was recovered in the urine, with about 61% of the dose excreted as parent compound. At doses of 1.6–2.4 g/m2 only 12% to 18% of the dose was excreted in the urine as unchanged drug within 72 hours.

drug interactions

Aprepitant: Aprepitant may change levels of the chemotherapy agent, ifosfamide.

Telithromycin: Telithromycin may reduce clearance of Ifosfamide. Consider alternate therapy or monitor for changes in the therapeutic/adverse effects of Ifosfamide if Telithromycin is initiated, discontinued or dose changed.

Ticlopidine: Ticlopidine may decrease the metabolism and clearance of Ifosfamide. Consider alternate therapy or monitor for adverse/toxic effects of Ifosfamide if Ticlopidine is initiated, discontinued or dose changed.

Tranylcypromine: Tranylcypromine, a strong CYP2A6 inhibitor, may decrease the metabolism and clearance of Ifosmadine.

Trastuzumab: Trastuzumab may increase the risk of neutropenia and anemia. Monitor closely for signs and symptoms of adverse events.

Voriconazole: Voriconazole, a strong CYP3A4 inhibitor, may increase the serum concentration of ifosfamide by decreasing its metabolism. Monitor for changes in the therapeutic and adverse effects of ifosfamide if voriconazole is initiated, discontinued or dose changed.