Mitomycin is an
intravenous (IV) medicine. It is usually given once
every 4 to 8 weeks. The type and extent of a cancer determines the exact dose
and schedule for this medicine.
To prevent bladder cancer from
coming back (recurring), mitomycin is given through a
urinary catheter directly into the bladder
(intravesically) rather than intravenously.
How It Works
Mitomycin is an antitumor antibiotic used
specifically in the treatment of cancer. It interferes with the multiplication
of cancer cells.
Why It Is Used
Mitomycin slows or stops the growth
and spread of cancer cells in the body.
How Well It Works
Mitomycin is an effective antitumor
medicine. It is often combined with other cancer drugs and is used for several types of cancer, including cancer of the bladder. The type and extent of a cancer determines how
effectively this medicine slows or stops the growth of cancer cells in the
When mitomycin is administered directly into the bladder,
it may help prevent bladder cancer from coming back.
Side effects, including hair loss, usually
go away after you finish the course of treatment. Hair loss does not occur when
mitomycin is given intravesically for bladder cancer.
of mitomycin given intravenously include:
Nausea, vomiting, and loss of appetite.
(stomatitis) and a sore throat.
sun sensitivity, and easy sunburn. Be sure to wear a hat and sunscreen of SPF
30 when you are outdoors, and stay out of the sun as much as
Lung damage that results in shortness of breath, cough,
or chest pain.
Side effects that are common with mitomycin given through a
catheter into the bladder include:
Decreased white blood cell counts and possibly
reduced red blood cell and platelet counts.
Discolored urine. Your
urine may turn bluish green to purple. This is expected and can last for up to
2 days after each dose.
A burning feeling in the
Irritation if the medicine gets on the skin.
See Drug Reference for a full list of side effects. (Drug
Reference is not available in all systems.)
What To Think About
Mitomycin is administered only
under the supervision of a doctor who is experienced in its use, such as a
following if you are given intravenous (IV) mitomycin:
Use of mitomycin can damage the lung tissue. Tell your doctor if
you have shortness of breath, a cough, or chest pain.
affect your ability to have children. You may not be able to become pregnant or
father a child after taking this medicine. Before starting treatment, talk with
your doctor about fertility issues.
Mitomycin can cause birth
defects. Do not use this medicine if you are pregnant or wish to become
pregnant or father a child while you are taking it.
damage the tissue around a vein if it leaks into the tissue while it is being
given. Tell your doctor immediately if you notice any stinging or burning
around the vein while this medicine is being given.
Do not drink
alcoholic beverages or take medicines that contain aspirin while you are being
treated with mitomycin, because these can cause bleeding in the stomach.
If mitomycin is placed in the bladder, wash your skin after
you urinate. Carefully wash any area urine may have touched, including the
tender tissue around the opening where urine comes out. This can help prevent
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.