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Last reviewed on RxList: 10/24/2008
Drug Description

(mitomycin) for Injection, USP


MUTAMYCIN® (mitomycin for injection, USP) should be administered under the supervision of a qualified physician experienced in the use of cancer chemotherapeutic agents. Appropriate management of therapy and complications is possible only when adequate diagnostic and treatment facilities are readily available.

Bone marrow suppression, notably thrombocytopenia and leukopenia, which may contribute to overwhelming infections in an already compromised patient, is the most common and severe of the toxic effects of MUTAMYCIN (see WARNINGS and ADVERSE REACTIONS sections).

Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS) a serious complication of chemotherapy, consisting primarily of microangiopathic hemolytic anemia, thrombocytopenia, and irreversible renal failure has been reported in patients receiving systemic MUTAMYCIN (mitomycin) . The syndrome may occur at any time during systemic therapy with MUTAMYCIN (mitomycin) as a single agent or in combination with other cytotoxic drugs, however, most cases occur at doses ≥ 60 mg of MUTAMYCIN (mitomycin) . Blood product transfusion may exacerbate the symptoms associated with this syndrome.

The incidence of the syndrome has not been defined.


MUTAMYCIN® (mitomycin for injection, USP) (also known as mitomycin and/or mitomycin-C) is an antibiotic isolated from the broth of Streptomyces caespitosus which has been shown to have antitumor activity. The compound is heat stable, has a high melting point, and is freely soluble in organic solvents.

For Consumers

What are the possible side effects of mitomycin (Mutamycin)?

If you experience any of the following serious side effects from mitomycin, contact your doctor immediately:

  • an allergic reaction (including difficulty breathing; closing of the throat; swelling of the lips, tongue, or face; or hives);
  • kidney damage (little or no urine production, blood in the urine, lower back or side pain, difficulty urinating, or swelling of the ankles or feet);
  • decreased bone marrow function and blood problems (extreme fatigue; easy bruising or bleeding; black, bloody or tarry stools; or fever, chills, or signs of infection);
  • redness,...
Indications & Dosage


MUTAMYCIN (mitomycin) is not recommended as single-agent, primary therapy. It has been shown to be useful in the therapy of disseminated adenocarcinoma of the stomach or pancreas in proven combinations with other approved chemotherapeutic agents and as palliative treatment when other modalities have failed. MUTAMYCIN (mitomycin) is not recommended to replace appropriate surgery and/or radiotherapy.


MUTAMYCIN (mitomycin) should be given intravenously only, using care to avoid extrava-sation of the compound. If extravasation occurs, cellulitis, ulceration, and slough may result.

Each vial contains either mitomycin 5 mg and mannitol 10 mg, mitomycin 20 mg and mannitol 40 mg, or mitomycin 40 mg and mannitol 80 mg. To administer, add Sterile Water for Injection, 10 mL, 40 mL, or 80 mL respectively. Shake to dissolve. If product does not dissolve immediately, allow to stand at room temperature until solution is obtained.

After full hematological recovery (see guide to dosage adjustment) from any previous chemotherapy, the following dosage schedule may be used at 6 to 8 week intervals:

20 mg/m2 intravenously as a single dose via a functioning intravenous catheter.

Because of cumulative myelosuppression, patients should be fully reevaluated after each course of MUTAMYCIN (mitomycin) , and the dose reduced if the patient has experienced any toxicities. Doses greater than 20 mg/m2 have not been shown to be more effective, and are more toxic than lower doses.

The following schedule is suggested as a guide to dosage adjustment:

Nadir After Prior Dose Percentage of Prior Dose to be Given
Leukocytes/mm3 Platelets/mm3
> 4000 > 100,000 100%
3000–3999 75,000–99,999 100%
2000–2999 25,000–74,999 70%
< 2000 < 25,000 50%

No repeat dosage should be given until leukocyte count has returned to 4000/mm3 and platelet count to 100,000/mm3.

When MUTAMYCIN (mitomycin) is used in combination with other myelosuppressive agents, the doses should be adjusted accordingly. If the disease continues to progress after two courses of MUTAMYCIN (mitomycin) , the drug should be stopped since chances of response are minimal.


  1. Unreconstituted MUTAMYCIN (mitomycin) stored at room temperature is stable for the lot life indicated on the package. Avoid excessive heat (over 40°C, 104°F).
  2. Reconstituted with Sterile Water for Injection to a concentration of 0.5 mg per mL, MUTAMYCIN (mitomycin) is stable for 14 days refrigerated or 7 days at room temperature.
  3. Diluted in various I.V. fluids at room temperature, to a concentration of 20 to 40 micrograms per mL:
  4. The combination of MUTAMYCIN (mitomycin) (5 mg to 15 mg) and heparin (1,000 units to 10,000 units) in 30 mL of 0.9% Sodium Chloride Injection is stable for 48 hours at room temperature.

I.V. Fluid Stability
5% Dextrose Injection 3 hours
0.9% Sodium Chloride Injection 12 hours
Sodium Lactate Injection 24 hours

Procedures for proper handling and disposal of anticancer drugs should be considered. Several guidelines on this subject have been published.1-7 There is no general agreement that all of the procedures recommended in the guidelines are necessary or appropriate.


MUTAMYCIN® (mitomycin for injection, USP)

NDC 0015-3001-20 – Each vial contains 5 mg mitomycin.
0015-3002-20 – Each vial contains 20 mg mitomycin.
0015-3059-20 – Each vial contains 40 mg mitomycin.

For information on package sizes available, refer to the current price schedule.


1. Recommendations for the Safe Handling of Parenteral Antineoplastic Drugs. NIH Publication No. 83-2621. For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, US Government Printing Office, Washington, DC 20402.

2. AMA Council Report. Guidelines for Handling Parenteral Antineoplastics. JAMA 1985; 253 (11):1590-1592.

3. National Study Commission on Cytotoxic Exposure–Recommendations for Handling Cytotoxic Agents. Available from Louis P. Jeffrey, ScD, Chairman, National Study Commission on Cytotoxic Exposure, Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Allied Health Sciences, 179 Longwood Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts 02115.

4. Clinical Oncological Society of Australia. Guidelines and Recommen- dations for Safe Handling of Antineoplastic Agents. Med J Australia 1983; 1:426-428.

5. Jones RB, et al: Safe Handling of Chemotherapeutic Agents: A Report from the Mount Sinai Medical Center. CA–A Cancer Journal for Clinicians 1983; (Sept/Oct) 258-263.

6. American Society of Hospital Pharmacists Technical Assistance Bulletin on Handling Cytotoxic and Hazardous Drugs. Am J Hosp Pharm 1990; 47:1033–1049.

7. Controlling Occupational Exposure to Hazardous Drugs (OSHA WORK PRACTICE GUIDELINES). Am J Health-Syst Pharm 1996;53:1669-1685.

Bristol-Myers Sqibb Company, Princeton, NJ 08543 U.S.A. Revised January 2000. FDA Rev date: 11/2/2000

Side Effects & Drug Interactions


Bone Marrow Toxicity: This was the most common and most serious toxicity, occurring in 605 of 937 patients (64.4%). Thrombocytopenia and/or leukopenia may occur anytime within 8 weeks after onset of therapy with an average time of 4 weeks. Recovery after cessation of therapy was within 10 weeks. About 25% of the leukopenic or thrombocytopenic episodes did not recover. MUTAMYCIN (mitomycin) produces cumulative myelosuppression.

Integument and Mucous Membrane Toxicity: This has occurred in approximately 4% of patients treated with MUTAMYCIN (mitomycin for injection, USP). Cellulitis at the injection site has been reported and is occasionally severe. Stomatitis and alopecia also occur frequently. Rashes are rarely reported. The most important dermatological problem with this drug, however, is the necrosis and consequent sloughing of tissue which results if the drug is extravasated during injection. Extravasation may occur with or without an accompanying stinging or burning sensation and even if there is adequate blood return when the injection needle is aspirated. There have been reports of delayed erythema and/or ulceration occurring either at or distant from the injection site, weeks to months after MUTAMYCIN (mitomycin) , even when no obvious evidence of extravasation was observed during administration. Skin grafting has been required in some of the cases.

Renal Toxicity: 2% of 1,281 patients demonstrated a statistically significant rise in creatinine. There appeared to be no correlation between total dose administered or duration of therapy and the degree of renal impairment.

Pulmonary Toxicity: This has occurred infrequently but can be severe and may be life threatening. Dyspnea with a nonproductive cough and radiographic evidence of pulmonary infiltrates may be indicative of MUTAMYCIN (mitomycin) -induced pulmonary toxicity. If other etiologies are eliminated, MUTAMYCIN (mitomycin) therapy should be discontinued. Steroids have been employed as treatment of this toxicity, but the therapeutic value has not been determined. A few cases of adult respiratory distress syndrome have been reported in patients receiving MUTAMYCIN (mitomycin) in combination with other chemotherapy and maintained at FIO2 concentrations greater than 50% perioperatively.

Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS): This serious complication of chemotherapy, consisting primarily of microangiopathic hemolytic anemia (hematocrit ≤ 25%), thrombocytopenia ( ≤ 100,000/mm3), and irreversible renal failure (serum creatinine ≥ 1.6 mg/dL) has been reported in patients receiving systemic MUTAMYCIN (mitomycin) . Microangiopathic hemolysis with fragmented red blood cells on peripheral blood smears has occurred in 98% of patients with the syndrome. Other less frequent complications of the syndrome may include pulmonary edema (65%), neurologic abnormalities (16%), and hypertension. Exacerbation of the symptoms associated with HUS has been reported in some patients receiving blood product transfusions. A high mortality rate (52%) has been associated with this syndrome.

The syndrome may occur at any time during systemic therapy with MUTAMYCIN (mitomycin) as a single agent or in combination with other cytotoxic drugs. Less frequently, HUS has also been reported in patients receiving combinations of cytotoxic drugs not including MUTAMYCIN (mitomycin) . Of 83 patients studied, 72 developed the syndrome at total doses exceeding 60 mg of MUTAMYCIN (mitomycin) . Consequently, patients receiving ≥ 60 mg of MUTAMYCIN (mitomycin) should be monitored closely for unexplained anemia with fragmented cells on peripheral blood smear, thrombocytopenia, and decreased renal function.

The incidence of the syndrome has not been defined.

Therapy for the syndrome is investigational.

Cardiac Toxicity: Congestive heart failure, often treated effectively with diuretics and cardiac glycosides, has rarely been reported. Almost all patients who experienced this side effect had received prior doxorubicin therapy.

Acute Side Effects Due to MUTAMYCIN (mitomycin) were fever, anorexia, nausea, and vomiting. They occurred in about 14% of 1,281 patients.

Other: Headache, blurring of vision, confusion, drowsiness, syncope, fatigue, edema, thrombophlebitis, hematemesis, diarrhea, and pain. These did not appear to be dose related and were not unequivocally drug related. They may have been due to the primary or metastatic disease processes. Malaise and asthenia have been reported as part of postmarketing surveillance. Bladder fibrosis/contraction has been reported with intravesical administration (see PRECAUTIONS).


No information provided.

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Warnings & Precautions


Patients being treated with MUTAMYCIN (mitomycin) must be observed carefully and frequently during and after therapy.

The use of MUTAMYCIN (mitomycin) results in a high incidence of bone marrow suppression, particularly thrombocytopenia and leukopenia. Therefore, the following studies should be obtained repeatedly during therapy and for at least eight weeks following therapy: platelet count, white blood cell count, differential, and hemoglobin. The occurrence of a platelet count below 100,000/mm3 or a WBC below 4,000/mm3 or a progressive decline in either is an indication to withhold further therapy until blood counts have recovered above these levels.

Patients should be advised of the potential toxicity of this drug, particularly bone marrow suppression. Deaths have been reported due to septicemia as a result of leukopenia due to the drug.

Patients receiving MUTAMYCIN (mitomycin) should be observed for evidence of renal toxicity. MUTAMYCIN (mitomycin) should not be given to patients with a serum creatinine greater than 1.7 mg percent.

Usage in Pregnancy

Safe use of MUTAMYCIN (mitomycin) in pregnant women has not been established. Teratological changes have been noted in animal studies. The effect of MUTAMYCIN (mitomycin) on fertility is unknown.


Acute shortness of breath and severe bronchospasm have been reported following the administration of vinca alkaloids in patients who had previously or simultaneously received MUTAMYCIN (mitomycin) . The onset of this acute respiratory distress occurred within minutes to hours after the vinca alkaloid injection. The total number of doses for each drug has varied considerably. Bronchodilators, steroids and/or oxygen have produced symptomatic relief.

A few cases of adult respiratory distress syndrome have been reported in patients receiving MUTAMYCIN (mitomycin) in combination with other chemotherapy and maintained at FIO2 concentrations greater than 50% perioperatively. Therefore, caution should be exercised using only enough oxygen to provide adequate arterial saturation since oxygen itself is toxic to the lungs. Careful attention should be paid to fluid balance and overhydration should be avoided.

Bladder fibrosis/contraction has been reported with intravesical administration (not an approved route of administration), which in rare cases has required cystectomy.

Nursing Mothers

It is not known if mitomycin is excreted in human milk. Because many drugs are excreted in human milk and because of the potential for serious adverse reactions in nursing infants from mitomycin, it is recommended that nursing be discontinued when receiving mitomycin therapy.

Pediatric Use

Safety and effectiveness in pediatric patients have not been established.

Overdosage & Contraindications


No information provided.


MUTAMYCIN (mitomycin) is contraindicated in patients who have demonstrated a hypersensitive or idiosyncratic reaction to it in the past.

MUTAMYCIN (mitomycin) is contraindicated in patients with thrombocytopenia, coagulation disorder, or an increase in bleeding tendency due to other causes.

Clinical Pharmacology



MUTAMYCIN (mitomycin) selectively inhibits the synthesis of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA). The guanine and cytosine content correlates with the degree of MUTAMYCIN (mitomycin) -induced cross-linking. At high concentrations of the drug, cellular RNA and protein synthesis are also suppressed.

In humans, MUTAMYCIN (mitomycin) is rapidly cleared from the serum after intravenous administration. Time required to reduce the serum concentration by 50% after a 30 mg bolus injection is 17 minutes. After injection of 30 mg, 20 mg, or 10 mg I.V., the maximal serum concentrations were 2.4 g/mL, 1.7 g/mL, and 0.52 g/mL, respectively. Clearance is effected primarily by metabolism in the liver, but metabolism occurs in other tissues as well. The rate of clearance is inversely proportional to the maximal serum concentration because, it is thought, of saturation of the degradative pathways.

Approximately 10% of a dose of MUTAMYCIN (mitomycin) is excreted unchanged in the urine. Since metabolic pathways are saturated at relatively low doses, the percent of a dose excreted in urine increases with increasing dose. In children, excretion of intravenously administered MUTAMYCIN (mitomycin) is similar.

Animal Toxicology

MUTAMYCIN (mitomycin) has been found to be carcinogenic in rats and mice. At doses approximating the recommended clinical dose in man, it produces a greater than 100% increase in tumor incidence in male Sprague-Dawley rats, and a greater than 50% increase in tumor incidence in female Swiss mice.

Medication Guide


No information provided. Please refer to the WARNINGS and PRECAUTIONS sections.

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